Year of release: 2020
Released by: Handful of Hate
Rating: 8,1 / 10
I got to the second of DO SKONU albums released in 2020. Technically, it's not new. As you can see from the press release, “Offering” was recorded in 2012 as the band's third album, but at that time Varagian found it too daring, so it was put on the shelf. Some of the material was subsequently re-recorded for the "Serpentine Cirlce" EP and "The Great Awakening in the Great Sleep" LP.
The same press release says that "Offering" originally aimed at traditional Black Metal, but was ultimately inspired by DARKTHRONE's Goatlord, BLACKDEATH's The Bottomless Armageddon and BATHORY's “Blood on Ice”, so it turned into hell knows what. Of course, it's such a hodgepodge. The result, however, does not reach the insanity of "Goatlord", and within the framework of DO SKONU it is not a breakthrough. However, out of the blue I call “Offering” the best album in the band's discography, even better than “Hell”.
The key is sound. Although we have already heard half of the material on other releases, in this sound it begins to live in a new way, revealing itself from a different angle. Compare, for example, “The Great Awakening...” with the version from the album of the same name. The instruments sound more powerful and deeper, adding keyboards and guitar effects that were not there before. That is, they were just before, and then removed... in short, you get the idea! The vocals, on the contrary, have become more inhuman, illegible. These changes, enriching the sound, transformed the entire material. Songs that previously did not impress too much start to catch on. "New" things are also not far behind, although it should be noted that two of the five tracks are ambient instrumentals. I think the all-time favorite on the new list is “Contemplation of the Night”, an unexpectedly melodic and epic piece where the influence of “Blood on Ice” really shows up. Also, this song just flaunts the secret of “Offering” success: the most powerful atmosphere in the history of DO SKONU, working in any musical form + strange arrangements that probably became the reason why the album was postponed for 8 years. Listen to these keyboards - some kind of harpsichord! But that's cool. The aforementioned ambient, while rather primitive, also works for a common purpose, giving the album an extra dimension of primordial darkness.
"Offering" works great on immersion. It possesses ritual solemnity and dark transcendence, intrigues with atypical musical solutions and poisons with the spirit of Black Metal. I highly recommend it. The lyrics to the album are as good as ever, ranging from the traditional protocols of the satanic elders to dark poetry. Everything is sung in Russian, but for some reason in the digipak it is printed in English. Digipak has 6 panels and a circulation of 333 copies. The design is a real black asceticism. Details on a video.