Dire Omen - Wresting the Revelation of Futility [Dark Descent Records - 2014]After releasing two demos and an EP, Edmonton's Dire Omen has teamed up with Dark Descent Records to release their debut full length, Wresting the Revelation of Futility. Mixing the frenzy of death metal with the dense atmospherics of black metal, Dire Omen create a fast, brutal, unrelenting slab of extreme metal. Though not overly long, they manage to get their point across, show off their chops, and create a pretty solid piece of metal.
Opening with a feedback drenched intro, Wresting the Revelation of Futility quickly drops the metal hammer and turns the pace to eleven. The buzzsaw guitars are reminiscent of early 90's death, but the thick, suffocating atmosphere is something fresh and exciting. That's not to say it's new, but the smoky, choking vibe alongside old school riffs is very welcome. Beside the hyper assault of the drums and guitar, Wresting the Revelation of Futility has a thick, heavy, plodding bassline. Like some sort of hellish sea turtle, it lurks through the murk, occasionally popping its head up for air, allowing the strings themselves to be heard. These moments of clarity are few, but refreshing to hear the instrument speak. It's not all wild speed and frenzy, though. Tremolo picking gives way to held notes and pacing is changed enough to keep the listener engaged. "Hemotically Possessed" brings one to the center of a haunting ritual through varying riff speeds, enshrouding thickness, and semi-distant, rough vocals.
The thickness of Wresting the Revelation of Futility is reminiscent of early Incantation. The years have been kind to metal, though, and the instruments, while creating a murky whirlwind, are still pretty clean and can be picked out easily. As mentioned above, the album doesn't overstay its welcome, as a lot of blackened jaunts are wont to do. This is a very enjoyable album and I look forward to seeing how Dire Omen evolves in the coming years.Paul Casey