Tuesday 28 August 2018

Review: Omega Point - Isolation

Omega Point is a progressive black metal project by guitarist, composer and producer from Munich, Michael Wöß known as Ristridi on YouTube. “Isolation” is the project’s sophomore album scheduled for the September 1st release, and according to the guitarist it is “somewhat more progressive, more melodic and more catchy than its predecessor ‘The Descent”, launched earlier this year. The song-writing prowess is out in full force on “Isolation,” each composition holding its own individual themes and feel and developing into something truly epic through subtlety and development rather than incessant symphonic layering, taking time to allow things to unfurl before bursting into that spirited sweet spot. Michael has gathered a line-up of musicians that are absolute masters of the crescendo, cases in point being the opening numbers “The Last Lights” and “Cold Embrace,” as well as “Eye of the Storm’s" emphatic final chorus coming across as truly apocalyptic leaving smouldering crumbled remains in its aftermath.

The weight to these songs is staggering, feeling less black metal-informed and instead leaning towards a classic heavy metal and doom-tinged sound. When black metal does become most prominent with its searing tremolo-picking passages, it’s all the more venomous for it. The thick production suits this more violent material perfectly, the snare in particular hitting like a tank, and the album also makes clear what has been suspected for a fair while now: Jonathan Rittirsch is one of the greatest (unknown) metal vocalists at the moment. His range, both technically and emotively, is jaw-dropping, his prophetic eruptions are out of this world. The man is such a phenomenal singer that it’s easy to forget his harsh black metal shriek is pretty impeccable too. His gravitas and touching relatability would only be a redeeming feature meanwhile if the band behind him weren’t equally as alluring, the instrumental work as rousing and tangibly human as its booming mouthpiece. Every single emotional button is pushed as it sucks you in and demands response.

Isolation” is as close to flawless as they come. Omega Point are undoubtedly one of the most special and vital bands within the metal underground, and this album is one of the strongest releases to come out in 2018. Devoid of mystical pretensions and deeply connected with both primal intuitions and the complexities of the real world, “Isolation” is genuine and as enveloping and engaging as anything else available. Omega Point are a band worth making time for.

Isolationis available to pre-order from Bandcamp here. For more information visit ristridi.deFacebook and YouTube.

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