With one half of the band, Tom Vallely, from the UK and the other, Svogarth, in Belgium, the members of Omega Centauri fortunately aren’t as distant as the globular cluster from which they take their name. As intriguing a name as it is and combined with the album title, it’s most befitting of what is contained within ‘Universum Infinitum’. Not a map of the stars, it’s more a canvas upon which the map of existence in its unending wonder can be projected. Dense, raw, and bleak, the darker elements of the album are hefty and sharp and slice, razor-like, across the vast soundscapes that Omega Centauri paint. Tracks such as opener ‘Ad Infinitum’, ‘Elusive’ and ‘May Whatever Cleanses Me Take Form’ feature riffs and powerful, galloping rhythms that are colossal. But the aesthetic is more than simply a black hole from which the torturous vocals and tainted resonant echoes, crashes, and malformed vibrations pour. Multi-layered and multi-dimensional, there are moments of light that emerge with the ambient keyboards and the strummed guitar passages. Of particular note are the tracks ‘The Oort Cloud’ and ‘Samsăra’, two comparably short tracks that are tranquil, ambient pieces that contain little in the way of dynamism but are incredibly effective when contrasted with the might of the tracks that surround them. Whether dark, light, or any of the myriad shades between the polar opposites, the melodies that slowly emerge, hang in ethereal majesty and slowly fade back into the blank canvas of empty space are as moving when pounded out in a tremolo-picked riff or when whispered from the most delicate keyboard sound.
As an atmospheric black metal album, this is astonishing. The structures may be straightforward but the vast, empty spaces created across the album by Vallely and Svogarth are astronomical. ‘Universum Infinitum’ is dark and menacing with an inescapable sense of foreboding ever-present. Turn the lights off, press play, and stare deep into the shadows. What befalls may well be the secrets of the universe…
Review by Jason Guest
13th Feb 2012
1) Ad Infinitum
3) The Oort Cloud
4) I Am
7) May Whatever Cleanses Me Take Form
8) A Mirror of Life
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"As an atmospheric black metal album, this is astonishing."