I’m gonna make a claim here: I think this is the single most underrated black metal album of the late 00s. I know, I know, in some circles this is considered a classic amongst the eastern European scene, and even among the entire scene of the end of the 2000s among people who delve deeper than others. But to really fully appreciate De Profundis, you have to realize what the zeitgeist of the time was.
Black metal was going through a period where tonality was untrve, clean production was in vogue, and the entire scene was trying to further itself from the second wave sound and attempted to create something new. While yeah, Deathspell Omega was doing their thing, and plenty of people were trying to copy it, the main sound of the late 2000s was more along the lines of Arckanum’s Antikosmos, at least among the popular side of the trve scene. It was esoteric, leaning towards the experimental, and firmly trying to establish itself as it’s own thing (with ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ further cementing this the following year). In a phrase, black metal was starting to rebel against itself.
So along comes Lutomysl, who by a and large was a relatively unknown figure at the time, and he comes out with an album that manages to both sound distinctly late 00s, AND firmly pay homage to the older traditions of black metal. And not only that, it was lo-fi, aggressive, AND melodic. Like what the fuck, who in the underground was making anything that sounded like this at the time? Really who has made something similar since? I swear some of these passages could’ve ended up on an edgier post-black metal album from like 2015 or something. His songwriting capability was near unmatched in the entire Ukrainian scene back then, and this album still is up there as one of the peaks of the scene today imo.
Not only is this defying the conventions in being melodic and lo-fi, but it’s also god damn sad sounding. While not being remotely DSBM, this album does not project the personality of someone who is happy with their life, and arguably even sounds lonely at times. This was the start of the whole “intellectual satanic elite avant-garde” scene that would later become a gigantic pile of retarded sulfuric acid starting at around 2014, while there has never really been room to show weakness in black metal outside the safe space that is dsbm and I guess blackgaze, there definitely wasn’t room back then. And yet, Lutomysl shows his emotions on his sleeves by writing some of the most heart wrenching and beautiful melodies you’ll ever hear in any metal record.
It is sad how this has become so quickly forgotten as one of the great in the genre, and unfortunately, as it’s been quite a few years since he’s released a full length, this album, and the one man masterwork project who created it may continue to be seen as such.