Today, Shadow Records (distributed & marketed by Regain Records) announces June 22nd as the international release date for Ofermod’s long-rumored Pentagrammaton on double-CD and double-LP vinyl formats.
By now, Ofermod should require no introduction. Formed back in the dark days of 1996, the band released their debut EP, Mystérion Tés Anomias, in 1998. Although a mere two songs, Ofermod’s opening salvo sowed the seeds for the orthodox black metal movement that would begin to blossom in the new millennium, alongside fellow Shadow Records alumni Funeral Mist and Malign. Crime and chaos followed mainman Belfagor everywhere he went, and the band’s momentum remained halted. But that EP was reissued in 2005, just as Belfagor was putting together a new lineup to at last record Ofermod’s long-awaited debut album, the news of which he revealed in a couple interviews during that time. Mind you, this was back when information about black metal on the internet was sparse at best, and rumors and mysticism still ruled the scene…
Although the lineup Belfagor had assembled featured a number of luminaries in their early stages – Moloch of Teitanblood and also then of Proclamation on vocals, and Atum of Dödfödd and Reverorum ib Malacht also on guitar – misfortune struck Ofermod again as Belfagor went to prison in 2006 despite work on that long-rumored debut album having been done. That lineup dissolved, and when Belfagor eventually become a free man again, he recorded 2008’s Tiamtü almost entirely himself, save for the vocals, which were handled by Malign’s Nord. From there, Ofermod would continue to release equally mighty works, but the tantalizing fruits of what was intended to be the band’s full-length debut were never to be tasted…
Until now, as Shadow Records has the esteemed privilege of releasing that album, Pentagrammaton, in a suitably deluxe edition: the original recording featuring Moloch on vocals, and then a second recording feature Belfagor on vocals. Momentous to say the very least, Pentagrammaton contains all the gnarly-yet-graceful black metal glory Ofermod perfected so early on, here distilled to arguably its most potent essence. It’s everything you’d expect from the band’s long-rumored long-form debut, and yet so much more…the obsidian gleam is almost too much to behold. Then and now, Ofermod are eternal.
And as tempting/interesting as it’d be to speculate how the black metal scene would’ve been affected had Ofermod released Pentagrammaton when they originally intended, allow these words from Belfagor to be the final punctuation on the matter: "I have nothing to teach my fellow man which he cannot learn by himself. I can but smile welcomingly for each decision made by man to plunge into the depths of the infernal regions where my mind feels most at home. About the recording session of Pentagrammaton could be written stories about initiation into the ugly reality of black metal taken to the extremes where it belongs, about naive eyes being opened, about how a creative process is indeed able to take place under the most destructive of conditions. This is a recording spawned through real pain and misery, magic and mystery, and now, many years later, results in victory, as a version that pleases the participants of the recording session is finally released. I choose to stay silent about the details surrounding Pentagrammaton, and let the recording speak for itself. Fortunately, Necromorbus Studios had already decided to change their location when the shit hit the fan in the classic dungeon that Ofermod in a way so fitting for black metal took farewell from in the most Dionysian of ways. Welcome to the dungeon of darkness that is the sonic side of the recording session from Hell."
In the meantime, hear the "new" old track "Persisting to Die in Thee" HERE
at Helter Skelter Productions' Bandcamp, where both formats can be preordered. Cover and tracklisting are as follows: