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Omega Massif: Karpatia

img  Tobias Fischer

It doesn't take Karpatia long to suck you in: Already the first tone of opener „Aura“ is marked by a familiarly dry and evil sound. And as soon as the next one arrives, the full force of Omega Massif's personal blend of massive brutality, precision and calm is upon you, hitting you straight in the face. It is a concoction filled to the brim with inventive hookline-riffing and organically segued parts which easily set them apart from many formulaic approaches to the genre; it shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that already this ten-minute opener has an intriguing tale to tell. It won't be the last either. Even the track titles add to the overall sensation of being a witness to dark events: „Wölfe“ for example, sounds so remarkably like one would imagine a hunt for a pack of „wolves“ in the twilight of the forest, that you can literally „see“ every single stage of the chase – at a mere four minutes an unusually short and fast-paced piece for Omega Massif, but anything but a break in terms of mood or style.

On „Ursus Arctos“, Omega Massif seem to be easing the pressure just slightly, only to come full circle by crowning a process of development, condensation and coda with a massive finale of monolithic noise. The last bars of the piece are a perfect transition to „Im Karst“, which opens with an impressively sluggish introduction, but, out of the blue, considerably picks up pace. The title track, meanwhile, builds a wall of guitar drones, nailed to reality by the rhythm section. Ethereal and unimaginably heavy at the same time, these complexly layered harmonies could easily continue for more than thrice their actual length.

Omega Massif know precisely what needs to be done and what is better left out. As a result, Karpatia has turned out equally to the point and multidimensional. A special edition, already sold out from the label, even adds an ambient-drone mix of the title track by Role Wiegner to the equation. This album isn't just an essential affair for fans of the genre – but far beyond it as well.

By Hellmut Neidhardt

Homepage: Omega Massif
Homepage: Denovali Records

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