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Doom Superstars in the make! - 97%

raveneyeslikemirrors, December 26th, 2013

In an era where the doom genre is now being defined by this post-70's rock revival and everyone clamors for new colored LP's of bands that mix doom metal aesthetics with the rock of Led Zepplin, Blue Oyster Cult, Blue Cheer, and the ever so present Black Sabbath... Omit announces itself as the last breath of the neo-romantic gothic doom of the early 90's. But this breath is not one of stale and pallid with the sense of imminent demise. No there is a new life in this breath! Something that clearly is of the current world but breathes life into that dessicated husk of the old 90's sound. Nay not a repeat of the tired formula but a spiritual sucessor and perhaps an awakening to life anew... at least for this band. Here is something truly fresh!

It is clear hearing this album that one of the biggest influences on Omit would be The 3rd and the Mortal. The pure and crystal clear bare doom chords with an organic sound decorated with ghostly female singing (sans male grunts) over the top is very much core to Omit and their fellow Norse doom lords, but Omit does not copy. Not at all. On Repose Omit cuts out the experimentalism that eventually took over The 3rd and the Mortal.. they sunk in a few synth lines and also added ghostly violins in every song in the best tradition of gothic doom. However, the presence of female lead vocals, synths, and violins are not of any sort of expected sound. Though they revere fellow old doom countrymen Sins of Thy Beloved and Theatre of Tragedy, do not expect the same dramatic pomp of said groups. If all the conventions of gothic metal turn you off, hang in there and listen closely.

Yes this is indeed gothic doom, but its output is not filled with lush arabesques of piano trills, flowery ostentatious symphonics, and weepy vocal drama. All the gothic elements here have been subdued immensely, But its not suffocated, rather.. its well... patient. The synths are modest but persistent and integral, and as clear as daylight. The violin crisp and heartfelt and played very slowly. The optimal word is organic. A genre known for its overbearing sound is here been calmed and instead gently serenades a funerary melody, No thats not quite it.. more like a song of a wake, of remembrance. Not mourning over the recently departed as they are buried, but instead walking on a snow-covered mountain path just contemplating all that has passed. This is like chamber music. I normally have a taste for the over-dramatic and the grotesquely overwrought in gothic and symphonic metal. And the subdued nature of Omit had me very unsure at first. But I have to admit... The goth here is modest but strong and very very (theres that word again) organic...

But I have left out one key thing. The one thing that sets Omit apart from their original masters in The 3rd and the Mortal. They take that sound and they extend it. Yes they extend that warm bare doom metal Into a vastness so wide that its like a shoreless sea. These songs are slow. Very slow, Clearly funeral doom pace (but without the deathmetal grittiness). You are open up to the air and can contemplate every note with great enjoyment. And the professional, elegant production... very reminiscent of post rock bands, is absolutely perfect for this aural space! This is music for patience.

I could imagine to some it could be a shock and something that could possibly blow over them, wear them out at its never-ending wandering. The mountain forest path has become much longer than expected. No song is under 14 minutes in length and even the double cd format here seems like not enough for this band's ability. A 40 minute song would be a breeze for Omit to compose. Despite all this, nowhere does it get so slow and sparse that absolutely nothing is there. Thank god! I can think of a few doom bands... *cough... Warning! *cough*.. that totally miss the mark on this.

..... Hmmm actually Warning fans may find a lot to enjoy here in fact. I can see a lot of similarities. Thats the best part about this band and what gives them life. Their production is very contemporary and new, taking a strong inspiration from the warm, stripped down sound of post rock/ metal bands working nowadays. This is their masterstroke. Omit has managed to make gothic doom relevant by adding this current working post-metal production and vastness, yet not giving into it and creating what essentially amounts to a metalized post rock song (Year of No Light im looking at you!) Omit is on its own little island there in the fjords up north with a totally fresh, original sound on many old and new ideas. Im very happy to see this band here, proving what I've always felt in my heart.. that gothic metal is not a stinking dry well and still has so so much more it could give if people would only take a look in hindsight at it!

Anyways. The final thing I would like to add is the band's lyrics and cover art. Thankfully, the lyrics remain this crypitc Classical-esque poetry that mirrors the tone of the music. Traditional romantic, but sparse and personal. A perfect blend. The artwork of the album is well, frankly the photos are beautiful. The monotone color is kind of blech.. but I see that it does have some merits in the pictures. The photos are all of empty Norse countryside amist'd winter fog, free of most of mans structures save for some old stone works and a gravesite. Good. I would only expect nothing more from goth metal. My only complaint (and a big one) WTF was the artist thinking when in order to create some parchment script effects, he utilized the Constitution of the United States of America?!?! Oh god that looks awful! There was not any medieval text one could have used instead??? Gezzz!

The band photos are really nice. Though I must say these guys look very strange, not the physical and hairstyles I would expect for a gothic doom outfit. But it works in its own quirky way, I could imagine each person a separate unique individual that has come together to create this fully formed music. Being into goth style I do find the 'look' of a band can be an important contributor to their sound... These people have strange haircuts and appearances and all but somehow it all works. I bet they would be wonderful to see live! Though I would hope the venue has a couch to sit on! Cause I'm sure you will be sitting there for a long time...