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Germany’s Omega Massif call themselves "Mountain Metal", which would be a painfully German thing to say were it not accurate. On Geisterstadt (Radar Swarm, 2007; Denovali, 2010), sludgy compositions seemingly carry on forever before breaking into jagged peaks of noise or hypnotic vistas.

Like their blood brothers in Pelican, Omega Massif play instrumental metal that is dramatic but not theatrical. Songs like "Exodus" weave glassy leads and crushing chords, with the personnel holding back to create space before uniting for a cathartic finale.

Omega Massif attain their power by mixing tact and brawn. In place of superfluous phrases or disruptive changes, they put their themes up front, driving them home with tasteful repetition and spare leads that bring direction to the underlying noise.

Similar to Isis, the band alternates textures and rhythms to create menace. "Unter Null" features droning, peaceful guitar that is gradually undermined by sporadic dissonance. By song's end, guitars spin and echo above the rhythm section with such intensity that they evoke air raids and nuclear fallout.

Geisterstadt is available for free download below.

— Ryan Weyls

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