When one thinks black metal, they often conjure images of Satan, poor production, and hyperspeed music in their mind. While all those are very valid reasonings, black metal has more than just that. Case-in-point, take Omega Point, for example. A project by YouTube guitarist Ristridi (birthname Michael Wöß), possesses all the characteristics of traditional black metal, yet expands on them with plenty of different structures.
Isolation is the second album by Omega Point, which comes some eight months after its predecessor The Descent, released in January 2018. Whereas The Descent was more raw and grim, Isolation is way more progressive and melodic, as well as catchy record. Unlike The Descent which included programmed drums, Wöß gathered a full band around himself and that’s something that’s notable through the record’s seven tracks.
Isolation does have an extremely meditative quality with its flowing passages, yet the miasmic and ever-churning black metal invokes a dark and malevolent type of introspection. The serpentine guitar lines and choppy, rollicking percussion by Chris Dovas is balanced out by progressively-tinged movements and the throat scraping screams of Jonathan Rittirsch. Wöß merges winding passages of atmospherically charged mid tempo notes with menacing soirees of jagged trem riffs and monolithic palm muted chords, while the bass lines, also courtesy of Wöß, wander stirringly and occasionally pop with a voracious thunder. The lengthier songs on the album, including “My Empty Grave” and “Eye of the Storm” offer a twisted, nonlinear approach, rarely sticking with the same progression for long.
Omega Point offer a hard hitting, challenging and, ultimately, highly rewarding take on progressive music that is unique. This is the type of album that should be experienced as a whole. It’s a bit difficult to sum the influences at play here, but it’d be safe to say that atmospheric black metal and free flowing prog are at the top of the list. Regardless, the album stands as a fine testament to the strength of the contemporary black metal scene and the amazing music that’s being pushed in that region lately.
As impressive as Isolation actually is, I can only remain extremely excited for the band’s future. With the recent transformation it looks like Omega Point is all set for live performances, and if and when that happens, we all are in for a treat.