No way I’m going to do this justice with my limited vocabulary and mere words. Suffice to say it was incredible.
It starts with 14 minutes of drone. One note. The waves of sound swell and build. The low frequencies seem to modulate a little so there’s movement but it’s so subtle you barely notice it. Noises form up to eventually resemble instruments. The appearance of a cymbal snaps the listener out of the dream state and into a crushing cacophony of post-metal and doom. The energy feels like an eruption at first. The guitar/bass/drum syncopation is fast, jarring and feels like a lightning bolt amongst storm clouds. The restraint of the slow jam that follows however is entirely reminiscent of Mono/Isis and the like. Glory.
The bass guitar performance that follows is nothing short of Tool-level brilliance. No guitar or drums..just another drone in the background while the bass chimes out. The way something so free, so loose and ambient re-assembles itself into yet another melodic post-rock passage that closes out this first track is utterly breathtaking.
The further along it goes, the heavier and more intense it becomes and I really enjoy the way the band incorporate the melody that’s been introduced through the bass-solo section into the end-of-the-world-nothing-will-ever-be-ok-again section that closes it out.
This first piece is 25 minutes. Enough to justify an album on its own. There are at least 4 identifiable movements that could have been separated by ‘tracks’ to allow listeners to skip through to the bits they want to hear.
It took me a week before I could begin to proceed through the rest of the material on Omahara’s untitled opus.
The second track (only 11 minutes!) is much darker and more consistent.
The third (18 minutes) uses more guitar and has a slower chordal arrangement. The ebb and flow gets as low as a barely audible hum rising to an all-encompassing wall of noise.
The fourth piece (14 minutes) is far more subdued that the previous pieces and gets into very atmospheric territory using a great combination of spacious and minimal drumming and bass guitar to keep it moving. The closing 2 minutes are a crescendo of triumph and simplicity with the resolving note peeking and crashing with the band in full swing, distortion and feedback and reverb upon reverb washing over.
This will not be for everybody. It’s a long haul to get from beginning to end. I found myself reaching a near meditative place in parts thanks to the Alpha Wave inducing brain state the drone sections caused…(look it up)..unsure if that’s what draws me to this kind of music..or just the sheer hopelessness of it..but anyway..
The heavier sections are crushing and absolutely satisfying for fans of the post-metal sound (read: ISIS, Mono, Boris, Fourteeen Nights At Sea, Sunn O)), Earth etc) I also really like that Omahara don’t entirely abandon melody for the noise and that..for the most part..you can genuinely follow what’s going on with relative ease.
Love. Love. Love. This. Album.
It’s available for pre-order as a double 12″ vinyl or the usual digital option..
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*had to include this great video of them performing an older cut titled ‘V’.