Friday, September 23, 2011

Omit - "Repose" (2011) [Secret Quarters]

I've always been a sucker for romantic, funereal doom metal. From the first time I listened to Shape of Despair's Shades Of... when I was a wee lad of 15 years, I knew I was hooked. There's just something about the melodrama, the gigantic, expansive compositions, and pure despondent misery that hits me right in that perfect spot. I can never get enough of it, but, with this style of music, it has to be absolutely perfect to warrant further listening, and when I say perfect, I mean I better find myself humming melodies with a smile on my face. It better be that good. However, thanks to Russian teenagers with basements, you really have to wade through a lot of shit to find that one band. It had definitely been a while since my last wondrous discovery, but Norwegian four-piece doom metal band Omit has proven themselves to be one of those gems.

What immediately sold me was the presence of female vocalist Cecilie Langlie, whose name you might recognize from such brilliant acts as Skumring, Fallen, Havnatt, or Vali. Not to sound like a fanboy or anything, but I have admired Ms. Langlie's heart-breakingly beautiful voice from the first time I heard it on Vali's legendary Forlatt demo. It is not very often when I am so moved by a female voice, seeing as most women in the metal world would rather emulate the disgusting, pseudo-Wagnerian warbling of Tarja Turunen or Sara Jezebel Deva (ugh), but Langlie's clear, mournful voice acts as the perfect centerpiece for Omit's debut masterpiece, Repose.

Released just a few weeks ago, Repose is two discs of beautiful, dense, morose doom metal, with Omit pulling out all the stops to make this 85-minute masterpiece as magnificent as it ever could be. With an expansive compositional style comparable to that of Richard Wagner's, sans the extreme melodrama, Omit treats every element of the band like that of an orchestra. Delicate strings intermingle with dense guitars, musclebound drums, swirling keyboards and Langlie's extraordinary voice in a brilliantly arranged, educated manner. Every aspect of this album is crystal clear, but not in an "over-produced" manner about which so many internet nerds complain, but rather in a way that makes every nuance of Reposed prominent and graspable. There is a ton of material here, after all...why obscure hard work with a less than satisfactory mix?

Omit's Repose is pure, brilliant emotion. Easily one of my favorite releases of 2011 for sure. Yes, it might take a while to digest almost an hour and a half of doom metal and yes, it does cost a bit to import a double album from Norway, but trust me here. This is worth your time. Support beautiful, honest music.


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