Omega Massif


Written by: DR on 12/12/2011 21:24:22

It doesn't seem that long ago when this German band sparked my now ever-growing interest in post-metal with 2010's Geisterstadt. In fact, it was actually over a year ago! And that album, though re-released in 2010, was originally released in 2007. During those four years Omega Massif have grew slowly but surely into a fairly prominent post-metal act, as an ever-growing fan-base has been kept tense waiting for the drop of their second album.

Here it is: "Kapartia". Where its predecessor ultimately succeeded was in that it never had the impression of an album trying to needlessly over-extend itself; the band knew their strengths and they played to them, and the result was a damn solid instrumental metal album. However, "Karpatia" carries the impression of a band who have been slowly refining their sound over the four album-less years, but not only are the metal riffs bigger, tighter and ballsier, their sonic-palette has widened, as to include elements of metal sub-genres (such as sludge), and also atmospheric, borderline post-rock tendencies.

Where "Karpatia" ultimately succeeds is in how their ability, ambition, and willingness to widen their stylistic scope form to make what is a metal album, but at the same time it's more than that. Opener "Aura" relentlessly throws heavy riffs in your face until Omega Massif decide to play with sludge-y time signatures to give the song a filthy feel, which gradually opens the song up for intriguing atmospheric soundscapes, which eventually culminates in a forceful yet tender crescendo. "Ursus Arctos" draws you into its world for its ten-minute duration despite being a combination of forbidding guitar tones and riffs, the cinematic closer to "Im Karst" after a build-up that gets progressively more intense is the boldest crescendo on the album, and closer "Steinernes Meer" sees the album out with by combining the powerful metal riffage with subdued, post-rock-ish guitar lines that build suspense for the eventual sluggish, almost calming finale.

Again, my interest in instrumental metal is still only in its infancy, but although "Karpatia" is a metal album, it's diverse enough to appeal to fans outside of the genre. It's the sound of a band that has slowly refined their sound and broadened their influences and learned how to marry those with their established sound. It's not quite four years in the making, but "Karpatia" is surely a must-have for any metal fan.


Download: Aura, Im Karst
For The Fans of: Tephra, Isis, Mogwai
Listen: Denovali page

Release Date 16.09.2011
Denovali Records

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