Band: Ceremonial Worship & Omenfilth (Split)
Title: The Pact of Morbid Conspiracy
Country: Greece & Philippines
Label: Eternal Death
Release Date: 6 August 2021
Format Reviewed: High-quality Digital Promo
I discovered a real respect for Hellenic black metal, since I’ve been listening to more and more music. There is something in it that makes me think of the old ways of black metal, reaching back to the 90’s rawness, and the pure rage of instruments on fire. Guitars and drums, and raw edged screamed and growled vocals that kicked off a time that was new in the genre. Black metal was the screamed “Fuck You” to the tyranny of governments and religion having any say in the way people lived their lives. Having a genre that spoke to those times, words, and brutally raw music that played to that and expressed the fury, anger and pain was needed then, and still needed today. Who doesn’t put on an incredibly brutal piece of riffage, drum and vocal that reaches to that place and just let the music overtake them. (I do this a lot, and no words are necessary, just an immersion into that)
Ceremonial Worship & Omenfilth both reach back into the beginnings of the early 90s Hellenic metal sound, as you will see on this split album. The bands have four songs a piece, with Ceremonial Worship up first on the album, but before I get to the album, let’s talk about Ceremonial Worship, a one-man dynamo, High Priest C.W., from Greece, with the band starting things off in 2016.
Two EPs have been set before this split album, “Ceremonial Worship” in 2017, and “Esoteron” in 2018. He has kept true to the Hellenic roots in his musical creation, taking themes of darkness, and the human condition to spoil and to exploit. Looking at past song titles, there is an anger present, in the human condition to not act quickly enough to restore all that has been taken from the earth, and questioning what will be left.
First track, “Frost Around the Globe”, deeply hard hitting riffs, tremolos, droning, and his voice coming in wraith sounding, scratchy and raw. Continual droning style tremolo, and beating drum, the undercurrent of darkness and wrath in this. Drums play on their own, with an off beat riff thrown in, and soon back to the scratchy style of vocal leading out of the first track.
Second, “into Dungeons of Mysticism”, immediately grabbing on with a rhythm of riffs and guitar Immediately setting your head to rhythm, then a slowing of riffs to paced out tremolos, and more of the scratch vocal. This vocal is compelling in its old school rawness, guitar and drums, again, give me that droning, continual deluge, carrying the mood and tone of this track.
Third Track, “Mission of Decay”, more drum intro, to faster tone setting. Riff works back and forth countering and lining up with the speed of drums. Fourth track, “Anthems of Pure Hate”, whoah, the riff is slow and heavy, and speed drums seem almost delicate and light sounding against it. What a heavy mooded riff, love how it punctuates and slams at the same time.
Now its Omenfilth’s portion of the album, and before I get into that, I want to speak on who this band is and introduce them. Omenfilth are from the Philippines, and have Filipino Mythology as themes running through their music, and, a connection and influence of sound from Hellenic black metal, and black metal origins. They began their band in 2013, releasing demos, Eps, and three full-length albums. Their last album was released in 2019, entitled “Devourer of the Seven Moons”. I note on their very first album, “Opus Sanguinarium” they pay homage to Rotting Christ, covering “Coronation of the Serpent”, “Into the Pentagram”, by Samael, and “Visual Aggression” by Celtic Frost. I see a lot of appreciation in this band for these earlier beginnings in black, death/thrash, and of course hellenic black metal influences.
Omenfilth are Deathfiend, as vocals and guitar, Guiller, as bass guitar, Emil the Dragon on drums, and Von Necroticus on guitar. Well, lets get into their portion of this split, starting with “Dwell in the Pits of Barathrum” as their first track. Begins in a brief all male choir section as in intro, to heavy riffs, mid tempo speed, and a guttural style of vocal. Can hear the drums, slowly counterpointing the guitar and a lead guitar section of black metal tremolos. Second track is “Conjurors of the Pestilential Sto”, bites in with the tremolos, mid tempo, guttural and nearly spoken vocals. So far, this track is much the same as the first one. There is a melodic section, and lead guitar styling in this track as well. Nothing overplays the mood of darkness and the black metal/drum combination that is expertly set out.
Next is, “Swallowed by the Umbral Void”, this one sets an atmospheric mood, with a raw, scratchy vocal growl. This is a darker, heavier mood, evil edged vocals and drawn out guttural screams. There is something in this song’s riffs that remind of AC/DC, with the familiarity of that riff. Something addictive and good. Last track is “Arktouros”, jumping off with the black metal expression. This track stays within a similar lane as the last three, no denying the excellence of the performance, I just wish there would be some variety. Having said that, there is no doubt that Omenfilth are strongly rooted in the black metal sound base, and respect to them for adhering to the sound they are true to.
This was a bit of two-part review, with lots of checking over of facts about each band. I can say it was a successful split, both bands displaying what their strengths are. Both having a connection to the hellenic sound of the 90s. I very much appreciated hearing that in the music. I give a 7.5/10 Metal Marie
7.5/10: Victory is Possible!
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