OREAMNOS – Into the Night (2020)REVIEW

The first extinction event, a precursory dissolution that’d allow a parallel evolved species from the same ancestral goat to thrive, now resurrects with an incomplete set of genetic sequencing. The missing links are then filled with a well-selected for antecedent generational robustness. That is to say that blackened death metal trio Weverin ended somewhere beyond 2011 when Sxuperion would resuscitate and, nearly a decade later, key members of each would form this duo Oreamnos. The material on this their debut EP, ‘Into the Night’, is not spiritual successor to a dead (and somewhat formative) Satanic black/death metal project but rather a resurrection of a working relationship between musicians who have undeniably improved in the voicing of their respective instrument(s) over the several years in between. Independent underground do-it-yourself United States blackened death metal so rarely births with such an inspired sound, a bristling and heavily atmospheric thrashing death experience that is all the more charming for its rawest edges and ghostly excesses.

As I wheel back in time and listen to each of Weverin‘s four albums their earlier stuff was generally more polished than your average CD-r demo back in the day. ‘Skeletons of Fallen Angels‘ (2011) was clearly the Ozone Park, New York-based band’s big step forward and perhaps a point where they’d lost touch with their original intentions as a trilogy of releases grew bigger in concept. Their drummer, who is also a founding member of Valdur, Matthew aka Lord Sxuperion would more or less reignite his own solo death metal project Sxuperion around that time. This has paid of some great musical dividends as each release from that project expresses increasing mental dexterity, idiosyncratic mastery, and primally ‘underground’ ethos. Of course some of this cosmic death mystère spills over into Oreamnos but guitarist/bassist Sam aka The Harp (Pthisis, Gov’t Crucifixion) brings his own classic death metal sensibilities to the rhythm guitar work as he whirls up constellatory death metal riffs that may touch upon USBM, thrash, industrial, and heavy metal tangents. The recording is simply achieved, honestly framed, and not so pristinely plucked over that it ever feels pretentious or overreaching.

If this all hits you as amateurish and groaty I’d say some patience and perhaps some preliminary introduction through their nearby projects is in order. Anyone who’d fallen for the horror of Sxuperion‘s last two albums should ready themselves to dive into this EP because you’re getting that same dissociation of early (also very do it yourself) Mithras as well as some brief samples and celestial noise with a guitar sound stripped down to 2-3 channels with minimal reverb beyond maybe the vocals. I’d loved “Omniscient Pulse” earlier this year but I think Matthew‘s vocals are even better here, shouts that bring hazy showers of atmosphere to the heaviest riffing on the album (see: “Shadows of Misery”) and only crop up when needed. Think of ‘Into the Night’ as the artists work as he discovers more power using negative space than deeply hashed overdetailed pieces. Oreamnos breathes in between bigger pieces or at the very least strings pieces into events that are ultimately bookended by some cosmic respite. In this case despair, hate, misery and darkness are the intentional reap of the death metal pieces within and conversely the atmospheric setup presents a tomb where these emotions are encased and decaying, a ghast fuming in its grave with grief and regret.

A fine introduction to the duo’s collaboration that is certainly homebrewed and, from my point of view, all the more distinct for it. The only criticism I’d launch their way is that the vibe is an inch too close to Sxuperion‘s current sound, the guitar work makes it clear these are different projects but not quite enough. “Shadows of Misery” is the obvious sell here but “Forlorn (Fire of Despair)” is my jam among the tracklist. Moderately high recommendation.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
TITLE:Into the Night
LABEL(S):Bloody Mountain Records
RELEASE DATE:November 27th, 2020
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp [All Formats]
GENRE(S):Blackened Death Metal
Atmospheric Death Metal

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