Omegashift Doctrine_of_dust

Omegashift - Doctrine of Dust


Inspired by the 80s Doom Metal and Hard Rock scene, the Norwegians of Omegashift released an album earlier this year with some modern twists. What if the giants of the 70s and 80s had used clear and strong female vocals like the ones on this album, would they have sounded like this? Probably not, but it is nice musing about while listening to the band unfolding five well performed Heavy Metal songs induced with Doom and Hard Rock.

One often thinks of Norwegian metal bands as more or less living in the woods. Here is a band from the seafront in the southern parts of Norway, Kristiansand. Each song from these rockers is fittingly written to be long enough to develop the soundscapes and at the same time throw in some nice shifts in tonality. It is performed with a kind of feelgood spontaneity, yet tight as any band with the heavy music serving as a flawless foundation for the diverse and strong female vocals.

Heavy riffs with doom tempo, grooving bass and clear cut drumming slowly drive the opening of the first song ”Lazarus Brigade” forward. The sonics spin around to give space to the clear melodic and strong vocals. As, just like with the other songs, the instruments riff slowly in the background to give room to the vocals until the song takes a harder and faster turn with repetitive riffs over low-end grooving bass. Out of this rises a sublime high pitched and blistering guitar solo that lasts until the low-end bass once more takes the lead as the strong vocals come back. At the end there is a shift in tonality with clear guitar, a somewhat muted drumming and grooving bass before the perfectly performed doom sonics are back to give strength to the vocals which soars over the other instruments led by the diverse bass.

As the songs on the album clocks in between the six- and nine-minutes mark, every song is perfectly developed to give room for melody, a breather of acoustics and thus show the capability of each band member. On the second song, ”Echoes of Mercy”, the guitar with the heavy riffing accompanied by the wide sound of the bass, makes the musical canvas, they open up, broad and heavy. The vocal is very diverse, strong, commanding and emotional while also leading into a part where she sings in harmony with herself. The guitar rises with diverse lines and hooks to give way for wonderful vocalizing, some heavy trudges and more shifts in tonality before the vocalizing returns to soar over the riffs.

”Fatherland” opens slowly with acoustic guitar and emotional vocals before the hard hitting drums step up to lead the heavy doomy pace, eventually meeting up with the emotional vocals that during the album become an instrument in itself as it is harmonizing with itself. The drums take the front of the mix and lead the song into another blistering solo, a bit more restrained than on the first track, but effective in the frame of the song. Another blistering high-pitched solo ends the song in the dissonant realm of music.

On ”Walk With Me” there is a turn of the song after some clean instruments where the bass takes the lead. The song emanates a reflective feeling as the bass rumbles out an awesome solo under light drips from the guitar and steadfast drums. On this song the vocals feel a bit different as sorrow and longing take up some of the aspects of this diverse voice. Towards the end there is a slow clean part before distorted riffs are back and bring doomy heaviness while the sonics rise to higher pitches to drive the song toward its end.

The album ends with ”Tread the Ashes”, a diverse song that might point to where the band is heading next. Throughout the song, the vocals develop from dreamy to commanding, becoming stronger and stronger. No matter how hard she presses herself, the singer’s voice never cracks. There is a part where the doomy sonics open up to sound effects from the guitar and echo effects on the vocals while a sound is creeping up from behind leading to shifts between heavy riffing and open sonics where the vocals grow more and more powerful. Towards the end there is an exciting dissonant part where the guitar is tumbling around before going full throttle with heavy melodic riffs over grooving bass and slides into some disharmonically echoing vocals before an abrupt end.

That ends 38 minutes of exquisitely performed Heavy Doom Metal. The band is surely not just inspired by the 80s heavy scene, but also the length of the albums from that time. In the 70s and 80s this was about how long the A+B side lasted on a vinyl LP. That led to concise and succinct albums like this with memorable songs and sound.