Album: Hymns of Diabolical Treachery
Released date: May 4th, 2018
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Nero One Records
Two years after the release of their debut full-length record “Opus Sanguinarium“, Omenfilth are back with a sophomore offering which defines what Hellenic black metal is all about. Now, the band may be based in the Philippines, but the sound that they had mastered to craft are those in the likes of early Grecian, or Hellenic, black metal acts in the vein of Varathron, Rotting Christ, Necromantia, and Vorphalack with a touch of that dark early Samael sound which bring forth a gut-wrenching undercurrent to the overall mood of their music.
Four months ago I wrote a review of their cassette format live album “Pandemonic Ascension of the Ancient Serpent“, which was released under Anugal Audio Terror Records, here in the Realm. If you fellas had been following my reviews here, then I am pretty sure that you have read how that live album was a primordial and two-fisted black metal live opus with a hard and merciless kick. It was a catchy release and it was a live record done right, but this second studio record has surpassed that release and everything that Omenfilth had done previously. This follow-up is fucking pure evil!
What “Hymns of Diabolical Treachery” offers is 48 minutes and 28 seconds of warm mid-tempo guitar riffing accompanied with a meditative, yet very blasphemous, atmosphere. The riffs provided in this record really sticks in the listeners’ head and it really helps as a very important element which makes this material a delight to listen to over and over again. The tone of the guitar in here has a more doom Black Sabbath-esque quality rather than that grim and bleak tone that we usually hear from garden-variety black metal bands. Yes, it may not be overly distorted compared to how those customary black metal acts do it, but there is definitely a crunch in the guitar tone here.
One might notice that bass guitar isn’t really a standout instrument in this release, but it does a stellar job of backing up the guitar section and giving those fine riffs a nice thick sound. The drum department has that aggression and maliciousness that we hear from black metal bands but they aren’t really standard in the genre as there is a lot of diversification as averse to blast beats and bass drum-snare rearrangements. Drum patterns are very well played throughout the whole album, but it doesn’t trivialize from the riffs the whole time which gives a really good balance on both departments.
Another thing that I dig about this release is that the vocal style provided here is a total sinister of a force. They are harsh, piercing, and they very much pay homage to that Venom-esque vocal manner and even early Kreator vocal dispatch. The vocals are conveyed in that inhuman resonating low to high screeching uttered delivery that definitely sends chills down every listener’s spine. Then comes that wicked and dark lyrical themes which, along with all the other elements, sums up to become the epitome of this evil drenched entity that is “Hymns of Diabolical Treachery“.
In my own opinion, the production in here was also done right in a way that it fits the band’s music very well. It may sound a bit polished than the usual to those audiences who seek for a more cvlt temperament, but the production on this album still packs a raw punch which gives a nudge forward to that disastrous and nefarious blare that fans of Omenfilth have grown to like on the band’s previous materials. I also like to give a compliment to the bizarre and fiendish cover that Omenfilth had chosen for this sophomore album. Just by looking at it gives people a bit of a preview of the bloodshed that they are about to encounter once they give this monumental work a spin.
All those pieces considered, “Hymns of Diabolical Treachery” is an unconventional and exotic studio follow-up which was added to an already blood-curdling discography of Omenfilth. In general, the release may have more of slow and mid-paced segments, but rest assured there are staggering fast parts that you will find here. Every aspect and factor of this release works together well with each other in here and the haunting artwork, plus the poised sound engineering, had added a great overall flavor. I really enjoyed listening to the whole record as it brought me nostalgia of the awesome works of the early 90s Hellenic black metal groups. This is just another remarkable put-out from a band coming from the Philippines, and trust me, my friends, when I say that our country still offers a lot of good extreme metal bands like Omenfilth.