Omega Massif – Geisterstadt

October 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Full-length, Radar Swarm, 2007

Omega Massif is a german band. They play a certain breed of instrumental that could easily be defined as Neurosis-inspired sludge or, as the band members define their sound, downtempo. Let’s not get lost define genres and styles instead of forgetting to mention the obvious: Geisterstadt is an amazing, wonderful and beautiful album. There’s something about its utter simplicity that has an undefinable immensity and grandeur to it, without any visions of frantic grandeur or chaos.

On paper, Omega Massif sounds like any other sludge band that plays in the vein of slower sludge bands. Heavily distorted riffs, instrumental, quite simplistic songs  that are played on tempos varying between mid-pace and slower pace. Even if tabs or sheet music were to be made of this music (which wouldn’t take a whole lot of time to write up, as these riffs can be as simple as they get), it wouldn’t do any justice to the aura that evokes the music of Omega Massif.

The opener, In Der Mine,  is a great example of the music’s massiveness. The direction of the piece can be altered by the smallest, most subtle changes in the music, for instance the drums not playing as many hi-hats per measure or such. The way the music is produced and written gives it this highly addictive and unique feel. The musicians behind Omega Massif definitely know that less is more, especially when attempting to evoke feelings of complete vastness and limitless space.

After listening to this album time and time again, the Neurosis influence really becomes obvious, which led me to realize that there aren’t enough bands out there that are trying to create this brand of slow and sludgy heavy music. This sounds even odder when you realize that this type of music would surely be easy to imitate, as one doesn’t need to be the most competent musician to venture in this kind of music. Like all great albums, Geisterstadt evokes feelings that are basic and common to the human soul, yet undefinable with words. I’d highly recommend this to anyone who calls themselves a fan of sludge of the slower and heavier brand. If you enjoyed this album, you have to give their Mount Logan split a try. It easily tops this record.

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