With a record that has literally been in the works for nearly eight years, Mystérion Tés Anomias unites Ofermod’s early take on “Orthodox Black Metal” with the newly found occultism exemplified by two relatively new “Orthodox Death Metal” tracks, "Khabs Am Pekht" and "Rape the World.” Openers "Mystérion Tés Anomias" and "Chained To Redemption" were originally released as a 7” EP via Pounding Metal Productions; the magnificent Norma Evangelium Diaboli repackages the selections, remastered and instilled with fuller and clearer sound than the originals. True to labelmates Funeral Mist and Deathspell Omega, this is extremely well meditated music, imbued with a ponderous ideology built upon bits of Orthodox Black Metal’s religiosity; theurgical takes on occultism and esoterica. And even though one can easily eschew the erudition and merely open the ears, Ofermod – and its de facto frontman, Michayah – would likely take offense.
The moniker itself, ostensibly derived from the poem “Battle of Maldon,” is old Swedish for excessive spirit, or arrogance – a fitting term for a horde that espouses propagandistic intent along with a sort of demented Malthusian weltanschaunng: kill the weak; may only the strong survive. Hindi cosmology is brandished as well, with mentions of Pralaya – an epoch of inactivity – littering Michayah’s nihilistic lyrics. Couple this with implorations to engage in De Quincean drug use as well as calls for near stoicism and discipline, and we’re dealing with some rather blatant contradictions. Despite this, the EP stands proudly – a thunderous descent into human nature that combines Wagnerian bombast with extraordinarily sensitive guitar work.
On more than one occasion, Mystérion Tés Anomias has been compared to Mayhem’s masterwork De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, which is partly apt, as guitar and drums ape Mayhem’s Euronymous and Hellhammer to magnificent effect; especially with the EP’s latter half – a maniacally linear blast comprised equally of technique’s precision and full-blooded passion. Michayah, however, is about as far as one can get from the gutter operatics of Mayhem vocalist Attila Csihar, preferring instead a more direct – and gravelly – delivery.
While Ofermod are in sound and vision quite unlike the rest of the Black Metal throng, Michayah has unfortunately taken to living the life of the Scandinavian frontman, going back and forth from freedom to prison. Hopefully his problems with the law will not impede the unleashing of Pentagrammaton this year – Ofermod’s first full-length in its ten year existence.
By Stewart Voegtlin