Nuclear War Now! Promo Reviews: Gnosis and Ill Omen

1534
69
Share:

What’s that? You want more music from the esteemed Nuclear War Now! record label? You got it, amigo. Today I’ve got two tasty treats hand-selected to satiate your appetite for putrescent filth. Feast upon the bountiful offerings of our benevolent label overlords and enjoy Gnosis and Ill Omen.



Gnosis – The Third-Eye Gate (2/28/2015)

a0449386819_2

Do the names Varathron and Mystifier ring a bell for you? No? Well fear not, faithful listener, because you’re about to receive an education. Varathron are a mainstay of the Greek black metal scene, scouring the land and plunging the scene into the “extremely deep gorge” for which the band is named with a score of vile, blasphemous releases. This band’s killer first full-length, His Majesty at the Swamp, sounds like an angry demon drowning in toxic effluent. Similarly, Mystifier brought an unholy assault from the blackened heart of the rain forest primeval in Brasil. Their sound is reminiscent of a death-influenced swarm of demon hornets driving you to the edge of sanity. Both bands tend to play with more straight-forward song structures clearly influenced by the rebellious second wave of black metal and the murky malaise of the Florida death metal scene.

So why am I yammering on about these two older bands? Well, NWN! is pitching Gnosis as what the bastard hellspawn of these two earlier acts might sound like if that squalling goatling had been born in a Florida mire. Erupting onto the scene in a spray of mud and bile, Gnosis brings a hefty blend of raw black metal and thunderous OSDM on The Third-Eye Gate. The band’s moniker and album title may lead you to believe at first glance that they fare in cosmos-altering dissonance akin to Dodecahedron, but this is not the case. Gnosis’ attack is much more visceral than mental; the band goes straight for your internal organs with the rusty knife of killer, buzzing riffs and plodding, thunderous drums. The vocals back up that dual attack with a throaty warble somewhere between a growl and a scream. The overall effect is menacing and perfectly suited to the sort of rust-contaminated approach contained within. The band’s sound is rounded out perfectly by a warm, bobbing bass that gives some girth to this monster exhumed from metal’s grave.

All in all, the approach is effective. Songs plod along with minor synth flourishes here and there, but the band never loses sight of that pummeling, Obituary-reading approach. Perhaps the true wisdom at play in this cult is a knack for recognizing their own strengths and playing to them to produce a cadre of killer tracks. Each song hits the sweet, headbanging spot without causing the album to ever feel as though it’s bogged down. Eight tracks of old-school fury sandwiched between two spectral sonic rituals. This is a solid attack, so drop your guard and let that rusty gator-knife plunge into your pineal gland.

You can currently jam “Chariot of the Sun-Moon” while you give the band some love on Facebook.



Ill OmenRemnant Spheres of Spiritual Equilibrium (1/23/2013)

a3490264549_2

Originally released on cassette back in 2012, the newly reborn cosmic horror of Remnant Sphere of Spiritual Equilibrium has risen from the lichen-encrusted confines of the dead, dripping city R’lyeh for a nice vinyl makeover. But don’t worry, all the eldritch terror and arcane mysticism that seeped out of the original cassette pressings like the tortuous music of Erich Zann are still present and accounted for. If you’ve never taken Ill Omen for a spin, well, you’re in for a treat.

Blending weird, psychedelic tones with treacherous, menacing doom metal, Ill Omen invite you on a trip through the very worst parts of the multiverse. Guitar lines coil and snake about each track like impossibly large leviathans squeezing the life out of an otherwise bafflingly spacious atmosphere while the drums bounce from the low-rumbling of distant thunder to the cacophonous salvo of the fallen furies to the dying pulse of a drowning soul and everywhere in between. Each song is full of mind-boggling turns and suffocating textures all somehow caged in the trappings of doom metal. This is weird stuff, and you’re never going to know quite where you’ll end up.

NWN! describes this release as a four-part epic telling of the complete and utter end of life. All things, time, space, feeling, thought, life, and even death itself are all condensed into a hellish singularity by the cessation of this apocalyptic journey, and through it all, vocalist IV looms somewhere above you, shrouded by darkness, guiding you with impossible congeries of iridescent spheres not unlike mighty and hideous Yog-Sothoth. The whole affair feels very off-putting and, dare I say, verboten, as though you’ve somehow stumbled through a gateway between worlds and are now witnessing the embodiment of a slow and excruciatingly painful annihilation.

As far as the comparisons go, it’s hard to link any other bands to anything this strange, especially when each track seemingly shifts in mood and tone so drastically. At points the weirder, more cathartic segment of “Natasha” seem to appear, but those visions of frenzied slaughter give way as quickly as they come and deposit you on a Catacombs-esque ossuary of cyclopean proportions. This is definitely doom, but this is doom as rarely presented and filtered through the frozen abominations of The Great Old Ones. Needless to say, I love it.

You can actually hear the digital version of this album on Bandcamp as we speak, so you make sure you purchase it in your preferred format.


(Photos VIA, VIA, and VIA)

  • I have journeyed to the depths of Hades and dwelled within the void. Behold, the unholy fusion of blackened riffs with the most powerful of metals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOVIfXiZ5lE

    • EsusMoose

      Time to get the corpse paint, chainmail, body oils, tight leather pants and the war axe. This is siqq

  • Ill Omen is unexpectedly rocking me in my cubical this morning. Not bad!

  • Is anyone else having trouble with Bandcamp? My lifesblood…ooooohhh…

  • Tyree

    Wow, this is incredible stuff. The toilet has promoted some really great shit this week. Ill Omen is definitely going to be purchased tonight after work. I got their last LP from last year “Enthroning the Bonds of Abhorrence” which ruled, but I’m really digging the cold and doomy atmosphere on this EP so far. Well done Dubs! I’m listening to this while I photoshop medical equipment this morning.

    • DDubya.

      I haven’t even listened to their release from last year, but that 4-track epic just blew me away.

    • Stanley

      My favorites from this week’s new releases are Voidhanger and Lotus Thief. Both totally different and both totally crushing.

      • at some point in life i confused Lotus Thief with Flying Lotus. d’oh!
        Lotus Thief >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        • Stanley

          Well they both have Lotus in the name and they both are black so it would be an easy mistake to make.

      • Tyree

        Glad you like them Stanley.

  • Guacamole Jim

    Ill Omen is phukken rad.

    • DDubya.

      Farck!

      • Faawwk

      • Lacertilian

        I wasn’t aware you were well-versed in Aussie bogan pronounciation.

        • DDubya.

          I’m not, but I’d like to learn.

          • Lacertilian

            Farken ell, youse seppo’s av been spyin’ on our books n shit eh

  • BAXXX BXAXXBXAXX

    W, did you add colors to the bc embeds? If so, you made them a tad hard to read (on mobile anyway)

    • DDubya.

      I changed them just slightly without realizing how it would look on mobile. Thanks for the feedback!

    • DDubya.

      I fixed it, dude. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have a great eye for design.

      • Edward/Breegrodamus

        what about

        originally released on cassette back in 2015

        • DDubya.

          Always breakin’ my balls in the comments…

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            No, really I am not ball bustin’! I was just reading your excellent writing as always and it struck me as odd…

  • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

    Love Gnosis’ bass tone and the fact that, it’s, like, audible, mang.
    Ill Omen is really fucken Ill. I liked their previous album, but man is this sick.

    If you google “bandcamp Anata”, ToH is on the first page, FYI 😉

  • Edward/Breegrodamus

    NUCLEAR WAR NOW?! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! GUFFAW. GUFFAW.

  • Tyree

    Remnant Spheres of Spiritual Equilibrium is incredible. Moving on to The Third-Eye Gate now.

    • DDubya.

      Remnant Spheres of Spiritual Equilibrium is my favorite of the two. It’s quite the journey.

      • Tyree

        Indeed. It went by so fast for as long as the songs are. I definitely got lost in it here.

  • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

    Dat Ill Omen song is awesome.

    • Tyree

      There are 3 more after it. Keep going.

    • DDubya.

      All four tracks take you on quite the expedition.

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    Ill Omen sound terrific. Let’s throw some more money in the bowl.

    • Stockhausen

      I find that toilet especially sexy. Which is saying something, because I find all toilets sexy. Mmmm.

      • Further Down the Metal Hole

        We can appreciate a clean toilet once in a while, they need not all be disgustingly filthy.

      • Tyree

        You are fucking sick. That’s why I like you.

        • Stockhausen

          MMMMMMMMMMMMM.

  • Stockhausen

    I can’t wait to hear Ill Omen. Erich Zann reference>>>>>

  • Dagon

    Bandcamp not loading once again. At least I got me internetz back.