A Umbra Omega

Space øddity

dB Rating: 8/10

Release Date: March 16th, 2015
Label: Peaceville

Let’s do a little science experiment. Take, say, a seven-layer dip. Place it in a refrigerator. Leave it there for eight years. See what happens to it, what astonishing new life forms have grown out of something that was already pretty damn weird when it went in. Dødheimsgard are the seven-layer dip. The refrigerator is wherever the hell they’ve been since 2007, when they released the mind-bending Supervillain Outcast, a nightmarish four-dimensional labyrinth covered with razor-sharp meat hooks. Since then, they’ve gotten positively abstract.

This is definitely not a band you can accuse of complacency. A Umbra Omega takes their digital black metal and expands it to all different corners of space-time. Instead of grounding themselves in post-apocalyptic industrial, they’ve dragged progressive rock, math rock and even a touch of jazz (yes, that is saxophone in “Aphelion Void”) into their conceptual wormhole. They’ve moved beyond mere black metal. Now they’re some sort of freaky space baby floating out in the void. “The devil hides in fractal patterns beyond the singularity” is literally a line found in “God Protocol Axiom,” so that should clue you in on as to what kind of trip they’re on.

Still, despite the 15-minute songs, despite the non-Euclidean geometry they’re playing with, the band never wanders so far out into the cosmos that they forget that someone has to listen to this. These songs are strangely catchy, filled with parts that stick in your mindscape. I don’t know what happened to Dødheimsgard in that refrigerator, but it spawned something pretty delicious.

—Jeff Treppel
Review originally printed in the June 2015 issue (#128).