Many light-years away, there is a cluster of stars known as Omega Centauri. Not so far away, more specifically in the UK/Sweden and Belgium there is a two-man cluster of Tom Vallely (music) and Rob Polon (vocals) also known as OMEGA CENTAURI. The name itself does not provide any clues to how the band might sound like, nor does it say anything about what the band is conceptualizing apart from flirting with the universe, but they have the good manners of beginning our heliocentric year 2012 with the release of their first album. Entitled Universum Infinitum, the album contrasts between atmospheric shoegazing, and raw, and crunchy in-your-face black metal, with a thick sound and eerie, tortured vocals. The first impression of the dreamy Ad Infinitum may for a few seconds fool the listener into believing that this will be another soothe post-black metal product, but as soon as the sharp and cutting guitars starts to dominate we find ourselves listening to something different. There is a versatility shaping the music with unforeseen turns and with guitars played with a pleasant depth in the sound that further adds to the the spaciousness, which seems to expand out of the speakers and syncs with your own microcosmos. For example, there is a section around 7 minutes into the song Elusive when the song has slowly decreased its pace and the wailing guitars become more pronounces, where you are suddenly within a etheral harmony that in turn drift away when the song again transforms itself with an increased speed. To further add two other examples: I Am meanders into dream-like (or nightmare-ish) spaces and channels of infuriated vortexes into the unknown, while Fallen is a more focused song that gather itself and converges into a frantic battering, before retreating to gather its strength again prior to the next eruption. The predilection for astronomical phenomenons once again shines through with The Oort Cloud, named after putative cloud of comets, and this track is more like a passage than a song itself. The perhaps most outstanding track is the 14 min long May Whatever Cleanses Me Take Form. This one contains many variables of melodies and beats along with hammering and harsh rawness, and playful additions that works surprisingly well together. And it is all very pleasant indeed. Samsara, the name of the sixth track on the album, is a word meaning “continuous flow” and this may very well be the core of how OMEGA CENTRAURI sounds like. Everything flows with a orotund sound, although the flow is not steady; rather unpredictive and exciting. It all finalizes with the tranquil A Mirror of Life that with its mantra-like harmonies seems not to truly end, but to fade out in ad infinitum. The blending elements from black metal, jazz-fusion, ambient, and post rock could easily have ended in a confused and dull mess, but Universum Infinitum is rather the opposite; clear and interesting. Highly recommended.
Release: January 2012
Label: Duplicate Records
Avantgenre: Atmospheric Avantgarde / Post Black Metal.
Official site: http://www.myspace.com/omegacentauriofficial
Review online since: 10.01.2012 / 19:31:06
01 – Ad Infinitum
03 – The Oort Cloud
04- I Am
05 – Fallen
06 – Samsãra
07 – May Whatever Cleanses Me Take Form
08 – A Mirror Of Life