I have a weakness for French black metal and will listen to almost anything from that country at least once. Deathspell Omega has easily become one of my favorite avant garde black metal bands and if you haven't heard "Fas" yet, listen to it immediately. (The title means "By divine law, go, you cursed, into the eternal fire!" as is from the Gospel of St Matthew.)
"Fas" is their fourth full length and was released on Norma Evangelium Diaboli in Europe and by Ajna Offensive in the U.S. Normally I would think something like this is too overproduced, but I love it. It's kind of proggy black metal - experimental, avant garde, and chaotic. It's a total mash up of all kinds of musical elements. I would even say that it's weirdly jazzy, but still manages to be full of blast beats.
The band is super secretive and I can see how they might border on the pretentious for some people, but let's face facts: black metal is kind of pretentious no matter how you slice it. Deathspell Omega is less about the theatrical, shocking elements of metal and exhibits what I guess you could call a spiritual Satanism (like Watain claims to do in lyrics and interviews). The occult elements are surprisingly pretty well thought out.
Musically, they've matured so much since their early, traditional black metal releases. This is a great record and I think it is probably my favorite of theirs, even more so than the recent "Paracletus," which everyone has been shitting their pants over. I feel like they have had this ability to do whatever they want and it comes out sounding chaotic, evil, and totally beautiful. Can you tell that I'm in love with this record?
2. The Shrine of Mad Laughter
3. Bread of Bitterness
4. The Repellent Scars of Abandon and Election
5. A Chore for the Lost