Album: Omens from the Dead Realm
Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Release Date: August 1, 2021
For Fans Of: Rotting Christ, Belphegor, Varathron
This has been a very busy year for me, and as a result I haven’t had the motivation to go outside of the bands that I already follow to find new music. Doing these reviews is basically the only avenue I have had for finding artists that I was not already familiar with, and even then I admittedly tried to grab artists that I was already a huge fan of. For this review I really tried to go out of my comfort zone and choose a band, based on a great album cover, that I had never even heard of before, even though they are on Nuclear War Now! Productions, a label that I follow pretty closely. This method of choosing a review has, unfortunately, yielded pretty lackluster results for me in the past as I have not really enjoyed much of what I have chosen.
Omens from the Dead Realm is the third full length album by Floridian Blackened Death Metal outfit Gnosis. As I said I have no experience with this band but from what I could gather their first two releases were met with fair to positive reception from the metal community. Outside of this there is not much information that I could find on the band other than that there are three members who all simply go by two initials. You know, like every other metal band these days! This cliché “metal band shrouded in mystery” thing had me a little apprehensive going into the album as this is often the trope I see a lot of bands leaning into that seem to think being “spooky and mysterious” is more important than making good music. Thankfully this wasn’t the case with this album.
The album opens with Conjuration of the Nemesis and it becomes immediately apparent that this album has two things working in its favor, great drumming and killer riffs. The song is aggressive and punishing and just simply works. While there are a few stand out tracks, that I will go into detail about in a second, this is pretty much the case for most of the album. It’s a pretty even mix of black and death metal with really solid songs. The album never really breaks into new territory for the genre but it is solid throughout its runtime.
Regarding those standout songs I mentioned earlier, there are two I want to talk about. First is the fourth track, Apzu, Sea of Death, this song bucks the trend of aggression that the first three tracks have and slows down to an almost doom metal pace. In addition to the sonic difference, this track leans into the synth and symphonic elements that, while present on the first few tracks, are much more a part of the structure of this song. Now I am not usually a fan of this kind of stuff as it can come off as really cheesy, a la modern Dimmu Borgir, but these elements fit really nicely into the fabric of Gnosis’ music and add a pretty tasteful element to the overall sound. The other track that really stands out is the title track. There is nothing really all that different about it but it’s a longer track that sort of showcases everything that the band has done well up to this point.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable listen that really surprised me. Gnosis’ put together a strong Blackened Death album that may prove to be the album that launches them to the forefront of the metal underground. While there is nothing really new here, there doesn’t really have to be. Omens from the Dead Realm is a really strong album and I hope that people decide to give it a listen.
Rating: 7 / 10
- Conjuration of the Nemesis
- Typhlotic Visions
- Excite the Tempest
- Apzu, Sea of Death
- Transcendence Pt. II
- The Eleventh Step, the Gate Unknown
- Omens from the Dead Realm
- Awakening the Third Eye
- Watcher of a Faceless Abyss
Total Playing Time: 44:48
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