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Omination : Followers Of The Apocalypse (Re-release)

Simply splitting the overlong digital release into two parts yields a significant improvement for Omination's debut.

I was very much torn over whether to simply tack this on to the recent review of the digital release as an editorial note: not least because there are many albums we don't manage to review at all over the course of a year, far less cover twice. But, in the end, I figured that it would a) be an unreasonably large and subjective note to append to someone else's work and b) quick and easy to put down my own thoughts, given that I'm already quite familiar with the material, since Fedor sent me pre-release samples of it a while back.

In all honesty, I pretty much endorse everything my colleague Chris wrote about it, anyway, so I'm not going to revisit much of the musical and technical detail here, and would strongly suggest you take a look at his detailed analysis via the link above. But I would also add that both context and personal enjoyment are significant, and this two-CD package produced by Endless Winter is a bit of a game-changer for the both.

Most significantly, it takes the somewhat indigestible 90-minute runtime of the download version and breaks it into a much clearer divide. The original plan, in March 2018, was for "a 3 track EP this month. But since the apocalypse is near the project went from 3 tracks to a full length album with more than 60 minutes of Funeral Doom Death Metal". Which EP, I would suggest, would have been the final triptych, occupying the 30-minute CD2 and centred around the lengthy single released in April '...Whose Name Is Worthlessness'. And though it all blends in together well - the dense lyrical images never deviate far from endtimes and apocalypse, and the whole cinematic theme is a cyclical one of birth and death - it nonetheless feels as though the natural break is there, and it's not unreasonable to consider the two discs as a semi-independent 'album plus bonus EP' structure, where they can function as complete in their own right, or be taken one after the other.

That's a good thing, in my book. If there's a very obvious downside to CDs, and, more latterly, streaming, it's that there's significantly less requirement to try and produce a tight and consistent fat-free release that'll fit on to an analogue medium, and considerably more temptation to fill up the available space in a bid to make it look like a good value-for-money purchase. Sadly, all too often, that has come to mean tacking on a bunch of sub-standard demo or cutting-room-floor material, or stretching material out far beyond its actual musical merits. Not that I'm completely anti- either of those, and sometimes they do merit inclusion, even if just to satisfy curiosity...but I'd rather they were kept separate and completely optional from the core thrust and meaning of an album. This two-CD format does actually achieve that: though you might still argue that both sets of tracks could have been a little more tightly-edited without losing the necessary theatrical sweep of the concept, neither disc blatantly overstays their individual welcomes.

Other than that, whilst I get the more-Gothic Neurosis vocal comparison, I'd probably have quoted Danish solo act Sol instead, especially given Omination's sometime baroque organ keyboards underlying them. So, whilst I do rate the 'physical' album a little higher both musically and in the way it's been presented, I'm basically in agreement with Chris that it's a creative and intriguingly promising release which carries some of the typical flaws of a solo project: it has the purity of an unchecked personal version over the frequently more balanced synthesis of a collaboration. I don't even like to guess these days whether drums are programmed or not - been caught out enough times on that one - but they're the weakest part of the soundscape by a long way; fixing that with a full-on expert behind the drumstool would almost certainly do something significant to address the synthesis issue as well. Nonetheless, I think there's value to be had in 'Followers Of The Apocalypse', and if you want to investigate it for yourself, this is definitely the version to go for. Sometimes you get what you pay for - this is one of them.

Click HERE to discuss this review on the doom-metal forum.

Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
1. The Temple Of The End Of Time
2. Towards The Holocaust
3. Followers Of The Apocalypse
4. Crossing The Frozen Wasteland
5. The Whirlpool Of Ignorance
6. A Replica...
7. ...Whose Name Is Worthlessness
8. Maybe

Duration : Approx. 90 minutes

Visit the Omination bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-01-04 by Mike Liassides
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