Omega Massif

Geisterstadt

Written by: DR on 15/11/2010 19:05:29

Post-metal is not a genre I can claim to be overly familiar with. I've heard the odd Isis song here and there, and I may have mentioned the term in a few reviews when certain bands show similar tendencies, but beyond that, I know very little. For such reasons, Omega Massif's debut release "Geisterstadt" was a welcome introduction into my review queue as it urges me to explore new territory with an open mind - something I perhaps haven't been doing much of lately. Before I delve right into it, how about a little background information? They're part of the Denovali family (a label I greatly admire), hail from Würzburg in Germany, there are four of them, and this is the re-release of their debut "Geisterstadt".

It immediately becomes clear upon listening that, as a post-rock-phile, I should be able to indentify to some extent with what is on offer. The typical formula of one guitar being allowed freedom to explore whilst everything else contributes to keeping things ticking over isn't too foreign to what Omega Massif do here. The drums and bass are present, but it's all about the guitars as they explore their respective territory: one allowed freedom, often resulting in screeching, noisy crescendos while the other generally remains as heavy as possible over the course of 44 minutes.

The crushing opening of "In Der Mine" hardly prepares you for the crescendo that it builds to, and where the dirty chug ruled previously at the beginning, the atmospheric reigns towards the end. Title track "Geisterstadt" follows, and is only two and a half minutes long - by far the shortest song here - but, it's the most ambitious. No drums, no dissonant riffage, simply the distorted echo of the guitars. "Nebelwand", the longest song at ten minutes, feels closer to my home as it isn't too far removed from post-rock - maybe that's why I hold this track in the highest regard above the others - or, maybe it's the twisting, climax of the screeching guitars? Or quietly patient build up before hand? Or how they threaten to turn loud, but shrink back into quietness, before finally launching a full-on assault. "Unter Null" and "Arcanum" are both based around that old one guitar going for the spacious and the other aiming right for your juggular and wastes absolutely no time in getting started, and Omega Massif clearly feel the most comfortable with this and it shows. They try to alter things slightly with closer "Exodus", which, along with the pummelling riffage, is feintly-groove-laden.

"Geiserstadt" is most certainly a highly decent debut and I can hear why Denovali would be keen to re-release it. As I touched open in the opening paragraph, I don't have the greatest understanding of this genre, and thus my grade may be slightly hindered because of it, but, this album has given me something to think about because I wouldn't mind hearing more of this (they're soon to start work on their next album), and fans out there with a deeper understanding will probably find even more to appreciate.

Download: Geisterstadt, Unter Null, Arcanum
For The Fans of: Tephra, Kausal, If These Trees Could Talk
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 30.07.2010
Denovali Records

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