Overmars
Affliction, Endocrine...Vertigo


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration USER (56 Reviews)
October 22nd, 2010 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A musical feast of darkness and aural oppression.

I've heard my share of scary, somewhat disturbing music in my time as a metal nut. And I don't mean music that is heavy for the sake of heaviness, gloomy for the sake of gloominess, or dark for the sake of darkness. I mean, those rare albums that are not only dark at the surface, but those that manage to burrow deep into your mind, heart, and soul, and create an all-enveloping shroud of despair over the listener's thoughts. This short list included Sunn O))), Thou, Godflesh, and AmenRa, and these titans of aural terror have been joined by a fifth. French sludge/post-metal band Overmars is one of the most overlooked gems in the genre. You've never heard of them until you come across them while browsing a forum somewhere, but when you do, you immediately ask yourself how the hell you haven't heard about these guys before: it's actually quite confounding.

When I said the music is dark, I wasn't joking: this really is some of the most powerfully depressing metal that will ever grace your ears. It helps that it's not conventional at all. While the band does have a few quite obvious influences, namely Godflesh and possibly early Isis, the sound that is emanating from your headphones is a sound that is almost completely this French septet's own (yeah, they have 7 members). The album ranges from relatively up-tempo extreme metal (Obsolete), to 10 minute+ epic sludgefests (This Is Rape), to songs that are simply impossible to label (Buccolision/The Mistaken One – Part II (Geography Is Just A Symptom)). The sludge epics in particular are masterpieces, with sections of long, one-note chugging and melodic, post-rocky parts that put the "post" in post-metal. They are accentuated with singer Arnaud's raspy, earth-shattering growls and with various keyboard overlays in the background. These songs are most certainly not for the uninitiated of post and sludge, because, in all honesty, there are not too many people who can sit through, handle, and actually enjoy these. In other words, it's completely inaccessible, and is only recommended to those with prior experience with the genre.

Of course, as stated earlier, there is a more experimental side to Overmars's music: while the aforementioned sludge epics are by no means derivative, they are not the most genre-defying things on the album. On one end of this spectrum, you have the 5-part epic interlude Destroy All Dreamers. Split into 5 roughly 2-minute sections which are scattered throughout the album in between the songs, these serve as instrumental, yet not entirely vocal-less (they often include some spoken word) respites from the crushing darkness of the rest of the album. These are the first interludes I've heard in a long time that actually add something to the album they're on, instead of acting as mere filler. However, apart from these little relatively light pieces of respite, there is another side to the band's experimental works. Buccolision/The Mistaken One – Part II (Geography Is Just A Symptom) is a song that defies all labels: it is a 5-and-a-half minute long slice of darkness. While it involves no conventional vocals, it does use some spoken word, some background growls, and a tortured female shrieking that serves as the song's focal point. This is a realm in which there is no light and no hope. The single, dissonant piano line, the strange electronic affects, and the occasional distorted power chord blend together to form a true masterpiece of hopelessness. If you listen to one thing here, make it this song.

So this album is overall an inaccessible, sludgy, doomy, depressing masterpiece of metal. The interspersion of standard yet undeniably good metal songs, sludge masterpieces of an epic length, relatively soft interlude pieces, and tracks that sound as if they were pulled straight from the depths of Hell makes this album a must have for the experienced metal listener. I only suggest that, if you are not used to this kind of music, and do not want your currently happy state of mind disturbed, you should stay away from this piece of sludge brilliance.

Album Highlights
This Is Rape
Buccolision/The Mistaken One - Part II (Geography Is Just A Symptom)
En Memoire Des Fables Oui Survecu A Darwin




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user ratings (30)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
illuminatus917 (5)
From love to exhausting - the story of this intangible thing between Affliction, Endocrine…Vertigo...


Comments:Add a Comment 
wyankeif1337
October 22nd 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This needed a review; suggestions are always appreciated. And seriously, get this album.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2010


6280 Comments


this record had got high praise in the Hellenic Metal Hammer.


i will read the review later.

Digging: Deadwood - Picturing a Sense of Loss

JubJub12
October 22nd 2010


24 Comments


Sounds cool. Pos.

Photon
October 22nd 2010


1292 Comments


good review man ..i love most of the albums u review have a pos

eternium
October 22nd 2010


16338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this.

Awesome review too.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2010


6280 Comments


Pos'd.

In the CD package, there is a second disc that includes a short experimental film made by the band that works as a companion to the music.

one more entry in the long list of records i should buy.

Relinquished
October 23rd 2010


25511 Comments


Pretty good review but personally, you exaggerate the whole album too much. It's not so dark that it's "a realm in which there is no light and no hope" and that if you're suicidal this album will do you in. Don't say it's inaccessible if you want others to acually check the album out. It's pretty accessible to anyone that are familiar even with the slightest of real sludge and doom, just saying. I'd fix the intro paragraph because five bands isn't enough experience with dark, depressing music.

On one end of this spectrum, you have the 5-part epic interlude (bet that you've never seen that before) Destroy All Dreamers. Split into 5 roughly 2-minute sections which are scattered throughout the album in between the "true" songs, these serve as instrumental

Take out the parts in bold. Also in the second paragraph, songs have unnecessary parentheses.
These are the first interlude(s) I've heard in a long time that actually add something to the album they're on, instead of acting as mere filler.

Some people might beg to differ. Remember even in school, they say you shouldn't talk about yourself when you write. Try to better your descriptions of the songs, just saying that they sound like sludge, add that they sound like [insert bands]. That's all I got for now.

wyankeif1337
October 24th 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'd fix the intro paragraph because five bands isn't enough experience with dark, depressing music.

In the intro where I talk about those other 4 bands, I mean that those are the only 4 bands that have actually had a profoundly depressing effect on me: there are plenty of other dark/depressing bands out there, and I have reasonable experience in the genre, but those and Overmars just have an effect on my state of mind that no one else has.

It's not so dark that it's "a realm in which there is no light and no hope"

I was referring specifically to Buccolision..., which is one of the single most depressing pieces of music I've ever heard. Although, you do have a point: the whole album is dark, but not as depressing as the aforementioned track, so maybe "oppressive" would be a better way to describe the album as a whole rather than "depressing."

...and that if you're suicidal this album will do you in

You're right, that was not necessary... fixed. Refer to above description about oppressive rather than depressive.

[quote[Take out the parts in bold. Also in the second paragraph, songs have unnecessary parentheses.[/quote]
Fixed.

Some people might beg to differ

They're called opinions for a reason.

Remember even in school, they say you shouldn't talk about yourself when you write

It's a bad habit of mine, and while I think first person is necessary in some reviews, this is not one of them. I'll probably go back and rework the review for that thing and various others when I have time.

add that they sound like [insert bands]

I try and avoid excessive band comparisons, as not everyone knows what [insert band] sounds like, and will not have much to base the comparison off of. Although I did compare them a bit to Godflesh and early Isis.

Don't say it's inaccessible if you want others to actually check the album out

Well, I don't see a problem with saying that people without prior experience within the genre might not be able to appreciate this album.

eternium
October 24th 2010


16338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty much anyone who likes doom/sludge/post metal at all will like this, so it isn't that inaccessible, especially compared to several of the bands you mentioned.

wyankeif1337
October 24th 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That was my point: if you have no prior experience, you might not enjoy this. I wasn't about those who were already fans of the genre.

eternium
October 24th 2010


16338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think that's a given.

eggsvonsatan
April 17th 2011


1087 Comments


This is quite tasty. I'm surprised sputnik hasn't picked up on this.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 21st 2011


8937 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

listening to this now. love born again.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 22nd 2011


8937 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah

wow

Maniac!
April 1st 2012


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So this is really good

Maniac!
April 1st 2012


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There are a couple boring parts but it really picks up in the middle of the album

illuminatus917
September 26th 2012


35 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Büccolision isn't as depressing as it is just downright creepy and disturbing.

illuminatus917
September 26th 2012


35 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Born Again is no snoozefest.

The first 10 minutes of that song are some of the best in doom, ever.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 11th 2013


6280 Comments


The album is offered as a free download from the band's bandcamp location.

http://overmars.bandcamp.com/album/affliction-endocrine-vertigo

CrimsonLies
May 6th 2014


2045 Comments


Yeah this is really good



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