Omega Massif
Karpatia


4.5
superb

Review

by Ryan Kroner USER (29 Reviews)
December 15th, 2011 | 46 replies | 9,012 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This, my friends, is what post-metal was always meant to sound like.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Omega Massif's debut album Geisterstadt was an aural personification of a vast landscape that had just been devastated by an immense volcanic eruption. Through slow, crushing riffs and crushingly beak atmospheres, this instrumental post-metal act painted a vivid image of a world with darkened skies and its ground covered by mounds of heavy, grey ash. It was dotted with dead and burning skeletons of trees, and nary a trace of life remained in the blast zone. If this was Geisterstadt, its successor Karpatia is more of a prequel than anything else, choosing to illustrate the immensity of the eruption itself rather than just its aftermath.

Sonically, Omega Massif have not changed their formula much since 2007. They still are completely instrumental, relying on massive riffs, tribal-influenced drumming, and deep bass to get their point across rather than on the rough, grating shrieks and growls that are so characteristic of similar acts. Periods of devastating noise are still balanced out by long sequences of foreboding ambiance, and there still is not a huge amount of variation between tracks. However, the difference between Karpatia and its predecessor lies in the drastically amped up energy of the former. Karpatia is faster, heavier, more intense, more atmospheric, and, above all, more desolate than Geisterstadt. It takes everything that made Omega Massif's debut such a great album and turns it up to 11, resulting in what is, in this reviewer's opinion, the strongest post-metal effort of 2011.

Variation may, as before, take a backseat, but that does not mean that Karpatia ever gets tedious. There are just enough differences between tracks to keep the listener engaged, yet the album still feels like one continuous story. Aura is a massive, 10-minute amalgam of everything that the band is good at, with immensely skillful dynamic shifts, infectiously bleak riffs, and more emotion that most similar bands pack into their music with vocals. Im Karst effectively takes the place of Geisterstadt's Unter Null, bringing faster rhythms and atmospheric leads into the band's equation, while the title track acts as a relatively brief interlude with its foreboding drone and slow, plodding percussion. Closer Steinernes Meer might be the most obviously "post-metal" out of the album's tracks, with a dreamier, Isis-like atmosphere and a stronger emphasis on the buildup than can be found on the rest of the album. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, however, we have W├Âlfe. Shorter even than the drone-influenced title track, it is a glorious three-and-a-half minute joyride (although "joy" may not be the correct word) of tribal percussion and galloping riffs, and it may be the single most intense song Omega Massif has ever written.

Karpatia truly is an intense album, and it is also remarkably well-conceived and executed. Imagine that four German dudes decided, on one especially dark and foggy morning, that they would create a band that combined the instrumental dynamics of Australasia/Fire In Our Throats-era Pelican with the crushing darkness of post-metal contemporaries Amenra and Overmars. Finally, add an uncanny sense of dynamics, some quite impressive riff-crafting abilities, and a strangely unique, undefined "something" that separates this band's music from every similar act. The result would be Omega Massif's Karpatia. So do yourself a favor and pick up one of post-metal's bleakest, most desolate, and most crushing albums since Through Silver In Blood. This, my friends, is what the genre was always meant to sound like.



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user ratings (68)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ignimbrite
December 15th 2011



5298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

As this was in my top 10 for the year, and it was better than the debut, I fail to understand how this has a lower average rating than Geisterstadt. I hope this review sways this unfortunate opinion.

Ignimbrite
December 15th 2011



5298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

That's good, because the music sounds exactly like its artwork.

Ignimbrite
December 15th 2011



5298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Awesome, I hope you enjoy it.

foxblood
December 15th 2011



6797 Comments


really good writing man

Yazz_Flute
December 15th 2011



18764 Comments


A lot of your similes are lolable.

But you did make me want to check this out.

Digging: Cormorant - Dwellings

eternium
December 15th 2011



16304 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yay, this got a review.

Ignimbrite
December 15th 2011



5298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'd been meaning to do this for a long time, but I've had a pretty bad case of writer's block for a few months (I used to do one or more per week). However, I just finished my last exam, I got accepted to college two days ago, and first semester senior year is done. I got home and wrote this in 45 minutes.

pizzamachine
December 15th 2011



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty cool album, good review.

AlecBaldwin
December 15th 2011



147 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is great.

Ignimbrite
December 15th 2011



5298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'd say it's more "excellent" to "superb."

:]

Activista anti-MTV
December 15th 2011



3138 Comments


45 min

o wow, that's good. Good writing here. Going to check this out. Where are they from?

steventon
December 15th 2011



152 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Didn't like it as much as the first album, but it's still good. Starts and ends really well, middle kind of meanders and gets dull. Good review though.

seedofnothing
December 15th 2011



3425 Comments


Will have to listen to this again.

Acanthus
December 15th 2011



9537 Comments


"Im Karst effectively"

Missing a [i][/i] around Im Karst sir, good review.

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

Ignimbrite
December 15th 2011



5298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

They're German, and thanks for the catch.

Activista anti-MTV
December 15th 2011



3138 Comments


Album stream: http://www.denovali.com/omegamassif/

Activista anti-MTV
December 15th 2011



3138 Comments


Oops nvm

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 15th 2011



21582 Comments


Checking this out

Digging: Septicflesh - Communion

cb123
December 15th 2011



1994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this...this is good

Ignimbrite
December 15th 2011



5298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yes... yes it is.



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