Review: “Diagrams of Consciousness” by Omnivortex

After a couple of jam sessions in Helsinki Finland in early 2019, guitarist Severi Saarioja and drummer Aaro Koskinen created the axis that would become Omnivortex and were soon joined by Niko Lindman (vocals), Mikko Pylkkö (guitars) and Mikael Reinikka (bass). A shared love of extreme music sees them citing influences in bands like Revocation, Gojira and The Black Dahlia Murder in recording their debut album “Diagrams of Consciousness”. Produced by Teemu Aalto (Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum), recording sessions took place in early 2020 before later being mastered by Svante Forsbäck.

The chilling opening tones of “Last Bearing” are a moment of calm with the sense of that oncoming storm and when the illusion is broken, repeating the nauseous sway of the acoustic guitars with electric ones, the darkness descends quickly with a relentless dark energy. Lindman combines the growling Death Metal vocals of Osiah vocalist Ricky Lee Roper with melodic screaming that one might hear from Gojira and lyrically there is a loose concept of mental struggle and a descent into madness in a bleak, cold and apocalyptic World that runs throughout the record. The monstrous “Cephalic Fluid Extraction” is a controlled Technical Death Metal resonance that tells a dark tale with moments of blast beats and Thrash riffs surfacing in fleeting moments. “Barren” injects more sinister churning tones and sees Koskinen make extensive use of his feet to deliver a tank like rumbling for the majority of the piece. The technical solo is a slick piece of brilliance and Aalto has done a fantastic job behind the boards on this, the mix striking the perfect balance for the bands sound. 80s Thrash nostalgia is alive and well in the riffs of “Lifeharvester“, the demonic possession vocals seeming slightly out of place with their gravity defying depth as Lindman causes the ground to shake with each word. That builds into some odd time signatured riffs and a face melting solo before a colossal whammy bar moment that defies belief as a jaw dropping moment of first listen that cracks a smile with every subsequent one. Bringing back more of the technicality, “Chasm” has a dark spoken word that is masterfully done. The changes of tempo break up the relentlessness nicely, giving each track the space to breath and each tale a life of its own.

Making good use of elongated instrumental passages to shoehorn in as many riffs as possible while not breaking the flow of the attack, “Gargantua” would be the best Metal instrumental on the planet if it was instrumental. Instead the fleeting vocal moments that break it up are the punishment after judgement that severs the flesh from bone. “Apotheosis” returns to that sinister menacing brooding atmospheres with some Progressive DJent leanings adding to the guitar attack in style. A dream, a nightmare or a bleak reality in lyrical form, musically the album is an adrenaline junkies must listen to. Having Black Metal lyrical themes and bast beats galore “At the Mountains of Madness” is a stand and scream affair that was chosen for a single, a bastard child of Russian brutes God Syndrome and The Faceless that could have done without the disonant melodic vocal part but is still as impressive with it as it would have been without. Approaching the twelve minute mark with “Diagrams of Consciousness – Parallel Universe” that has some glorious tapping sections that back off into whammy bar madness, quite how the rhythm section manages to keep up the relentlessness is beyond comprehension. A tribal drum break mid track is a welcome break for them before building back into Obscura esq odd time signatured chugs. Overall a rewardingly punishing Technical Death Metal album that shows the greatest of promise for the quintet [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Last Bearing
  2. Cephalic Fluid Extraction
  3. Barren
  4. Lifeharvester
  5. Chasm
  6. Gargantua
  7. Apotheosis
  8. At the Mountains of Madness
  9. Diagrams of Consciousness – Parallel Universe

Diagrams of Consciousness” by Omnivortex is out 20th November via Concorde Music Company

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