Killing Addiction – Omega Factor [Reissue] (2018) REVIEW

Killing Addiction‘s thirty year legacy began concurrently within deathly sonic catacombs similar to bands like Incantation and Morpheus yet their thrash influences and heady atmospheric sound was entirely their own. Their ‘Necrosphere’ EP from 1991 remains underrated as an unexpectedly brutal hammer from the early Florida death metal scene. It’s atmospherics are unrivaled in this era beyond maybe Timeghoul‘s insane set of demos years later. As impressive as it was, none of ‘Necrosphere’ fully hinted at the raw technical skill and guttural brutality of their full-length debut ‘Omega Factor’. Twenty five years later the album has finally been reissued and cleaned up beyond the muddy and hard to find JL America release.

Killing Addiction/Xtreem have done ‘Omega Factor’ a great service with this reissue’s packaging and sound. Not only has the artwork been cleaned up, zoomed out, and re-scanned but they’ve had original album artist Nick Curri create additional artwork for the inner sleeve/booklet layout that echoes the original perfectly. I can’t really speak to whether or not ‘Omega Factor’ itself has been remastered, it generally sounds like a brighter transfer than you can find on streaming services, though. Thankfully they haven’t touched up the ‘Necrosphere’ EP or the 1990 ‘Legacies of Terror’ demo so the hissing tape noise and analog crackling is all in tact. As documentation of the band’s first 5 years, this reissue of ‘Omega Factor’ is given utmost respect.

‘Omega Factor’ itself is underrated among old school death metal elitists and tape-strokers alike. It’s representation of a secondary wave of increasingly brutal Florida death metal rarely inspires fairweather historians but you could directly trace this thrashing, atmospheric brutal death metal album as minor lineage towards groups like Sadistic Torment and Horror of Horrors that would go on to bigger things. Fans of old school death metal and modern technical/brutal death metal alike should be able to warm up to the quick-witted songwriting of the Bailey brothers and thrash influenced riffing throughout.

Arrangements like “Equating the Trinity” jet between technical thrash, ‘Human’ level riffing, and pit-riffs a la early Internal Bleeding so smoothly it is a shame that much of this work would remain unappreciated. My favorite track is easily “Dehumanized” for it’s almost Carcass-like structure and pure intensity throughout. Also a must-listen is the more standard ‘Harmony Corruption’ style “Nothing Remains” partially because it reminds me of underrated Illinois death metal band Morgue on their ‘Eroded Thoughts’ album. There is a lot to dig into here and the only reason not to is maybe the guttural vocals, but I like that old school brutal death metal touch here. They could have used more tracks to up the atmospherics as in ‘Necrosphere’ EP but it’s a small nitpick.

Also if you’re a demo nerd like me and you haven’t heard ‘Legacies of Terror’ it starts out rough but don’t miss out on their brilliant thrasher “Well of Souls” and the grinding horror of “Condemned” both of which were never reworked for other releases as far as I can tell. Killing Addiction‘s ‘Omega Factor’ might not be tailored for the old school death metal beginner, yet it’s charming roughness is an easily acquired taste. If you’re a longtime fan of this stuff it is an essential side-quest for 90’s USDM collectors and enthusiasts.

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Artist Killing Addiction
Type Album
Released March 9, 1993 | March 9, 2018 [Reissue]
BUY/LISTEN on Xtreem’s Bandcamp! Follow Killing Addiction on Facebook
Genres

Elapsing ebb of life. 4.25/5.0

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