12 O'Clock Track: Deiphago, "Heretic Oath" | Bleader

12 O'Clock Track: Deiphago, "Heretic Oath"

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Deiphago
  • Deiphago
I first encountered Deiphago a couple years ago, when I made the recipe they'd contributed to Hellbent for Cookingsinigang na baboy, or sour Filipino pork-rib stew. (Though originally from the Philippines, the band relocated to Costa Rica in 2004.) In March I had the good fortune to catch their first U.S. appearance, as headliners at the Cathedral of the Black Goat festival at Cafe Lura. Earlier this week Ohio label Hells Headbangers released Deiphago's third full-length, Satan Alpha Omega, and last Friday the band played a release party, also at Cafe Lura. Today's 12 O'Clock Track, "Heretic Oath," is from the new album.

On Facebook, Deiphago describe themselves as "bestial black death devastation" (with several exclamation points!), but since I realize this description is unhelpful to the general public, I'll go into a bit more detail. The guitars on "Heretic Oath" are so blown-out and down-tuned that they register as an opaque churning mass, inky and turbulent and impenetrable—it's only possible to identify notes in the brief stop-time breaks (and during the solo toward the end, which I was totally not expecting). The frenzied, incantatory vocals don't seem to follow the song so much as dictate its shape—between the desperate raggedness of the singing and the blurry speed of the drumming, it hardly feels like the whole band is bound by the same tempo. This is one instance where tortured, out-of-breath screaming feels perfectly natural, not merely required by genre—I'd probably sound the same way if I were being chewed up in that meat grinder of feral, incapacitating noise.

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