The equidistant longing of crypt and cosmos — Life is a battery of dire warnings heeded by a slivering percentage of the living today. Death’s piling queue begins to stench beyond the caustic smoke of burning trees (and houses) as prescience becomes a lost trait amidst the forever-damning intellectual devolution of all men. “Not in my lifetime.” we’d all said twenty years ago, slowly leaking control to supreme death merchants as worship for canned comfort. Today we receive due wrath from the dry-rotting corpse of the natural world via pestilence and burning death. What resolve remains for soon charred and damned? You can avoid human congregation, sure, but there’ll be no escape from the feral force of Helios as the potentiate energy of all matter is strangled of life by the chariots sparking flame. Await thy fated end via pyrolysis with a screaming, wall-clawing and tear-filled harangue or, meditate upon the great power of the ancient Earth and its emergent reclamation of all life via the horror-traipsing lilt of gorgeously obscure New York-based black metal trio Ominous Resurrection‘s second full-length ‘Judgement’. Drift unto your eternally deserved tomb of dust and ash.
Unless you’d been a devout follower of German black metal label Funeral Industries‘ fine catalog of limited run vinyl obscurities no doubt you’d missed the first album (‘Omniscient‘, 2014) from this project headed by Negative Plane rhythm guitarist Diabolic Gulgalta (D.G.) alongside drummer A.G. and fellow Agrath member Black Spectrum. The band seems to have stirred up beyond 2011 when several side-projects began to spark beyond the glorious point of ‘Stained Glass Revelations‘, including Funereal Presence and Occultation. Of the three notable pillars beyond Ominous Resurrection could be considered the most faithfully atmospheric rendering, diving into auld and obscure black metal trances entirely born from arabesque and exotically arranged rhythm guitar driven dirges which (on average) feature around 5-7 minute events per song. References to ‘One Step Beyond Dreams’ and ‘Passage to Arcturo’ are fittingly applied here in terms of unfurled and braised away speed/first wave black metal structures at a doom n’ gloom pace. In hindsight ‘Omniscient’ was actually quite a playful record that relished in a lot of simple but powerful exotic melodic ideas (Maqam or similarly sourced movements) that appear to stem from an appreciation for non-Scandinavian early 90’s outliers such as Mortuary Drape though I would steer the listener towards (early) Necromantia, Predatory Light and Culte Des Ghoules to help stay on track. Although the signature sojourn of D.G.‘s guitar work is still true as ever six years later on the second Ominous Resurrection the tone and murk of this album is far more severe, serious, and malevolent enough to erase the “playful” thought and instead inspire a warning of cursed passages moving forward.
Some manner of nihil possesses the hand slashing out these rhythms, a hapless vessel for a daimonian master seeping from a distant grave and the result is a curling, thick smoke-like trance that trails in and out of each piece with an understated vigor. Again, the atmosphere is the echoing distant and reverb-coughing modus you’d want from a Negative Plane album but each experience here focuses on the lilt and leverage gained via the downward-echoing guitar presence and effects-obscured vocals. It would be natural to want to think of Spite, Spirit Possession or even Veiled when considering the thrust of the rhythms here but each of those bands are aiming for a different dialectic vision of first (or early second) wave rhythmic revisionism whereas Ominous Resurrection almost bears the mark of black/doom metal progeny rather than anything built upon European speed metal clangor. The effect is unrepentant and generally impressive for the rhythmic motions alone, much less the intensely “buried” sound design. This unwavering focus upon clever rhythms is enough to sell an album to me, a listener who is well indoctrinated in this circle’s methods and ideals but I do think there will be some manner of ‘acquired taste’ for the average person not well groomed by raw black metal aesthetics and the mysterious sensation of occult black metal’s immersive themes. The first album is a bit sharper in terms of production and certainly more accessibly melodic so, ‘Omniscient’ (which has been reissued in tandem with this release) may be more appropriate for a true induction, this second album is entirely “necro” by comparison without losing its grand magick sense of movement and mystère.
The three song ~21 minute run (“Heir to the Throne”, “Ashes of Holocaust”, “Sons of Pleiades”) that kicks off the album is where you will feel the most spirited emphasis on the rhythm guitar work that I’ve ceaselessly emphasized thus far, and for good reason. Yes, it drones on at a general mid-to-slow pace on both sides of the LP but the movements themselves are ingenious and intoxicating to follow. It is a capture of diabolic submersion, drowning in the dark waters of true nihilism as the heart and lungs implode into cold spasms. As Side B pushes into view the pace slows and the album takes on the air of subterranean exploration, a meditation upon the cryptic maze of ancient tombs as “Three Holy Coffins” and the sublime “Genetic Providence” dissolve slowly like a mind bewildering itself to sleep. It may initially feel like a very dry ~45 minute run of samey songs without any adornment but the effect is that of a raw black metal album crossed with a mystifying classic (such as ‘Walpurgisnacht’) where the immersive qualities of the steadfast performance and its creeping doom-like notions cast a spell upon the mind, captivating and clutching each hand in an eternal dance towards the underworld. I’d followed quite willingly but I can imagine the crumbling sensation of the fidelity will be an arcane challenge for folks who seeing ornate sonic details and modern hi-fi loudness. I believe the major goal here is to guide the listener against their instincts, to accept death’s judgement and worship their path towards the underworld and in this sense ‘Judgement’ is affirming as it is rightfully damning. A high recommendation for this and the contrasting texture of its re-issued predecessor.
|RELEASE DATE:||August 28th, 2020|
|BUY & LISTEN:||Bandcamp [All Formats]|
Raw Occult Black Metal
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