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Atmosphere and outright aggression needn't be inversely correlated; a straight punch also knocks you dizzy. It's a "soft state" of mind induced by a "hard state" (of matter) -- in this case, a fleshy one flying right at your face. Just because you have airy headspaces doesn't mean you can't also have straightforward, classic riffs, for instance. Those more straightforward elements might even lend to the music's atmosphere, if executed properly. It's all about layering and songwriting and, yes, mastering. Also: focus, intent, and a clear goal.

As far as (new) black metal goes, the upcoming debut Lamentation of the Chaos Omega by The Negative Bias hones these very points to an infinitely fine… point. Its six songs meander through forests of manic madness, slowing down at the penultimate moment only to build up to a grand, chorus-heavy climax. Nestled within are moments of genre throwback (the band's roster includes S.T. of Golden Dawn); structurally, though, Lamentation of the Chaos Omega is totally postmodern. The goal here was to blend the old with the new without destroying either.

As such, there's much to discover within Lamentation of the Chaos Omega irrespective of your particular metal background. The Negative Bias writes intense, furious black metal, but they know when to "deactivate" for a while to allow for breathing (or, to allow you to regain your senses so it hurts just that much more when the onslaught continues). Particularly fast blast beat moments are indeed mind-boggling; an impressive vocal range with some uncharacteristic style helps the album follow through. To their benefit, there's not much flair (e.g. bleh album art) -- this is all content, all force, minimal pretense. Remember, real punches come without warning.

Below, check out an exclusive full stream of Lamentation of the Chaos Omega before its Friday release.

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Pre-order Lamentation of the Chaos Omega via ATMF's Bandcamp here.

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