As irresistibly addictive as it is feverously brutal, The Fall of Omnius is a riveting blaze of furious and technically magnetic death metal from a band which has already suggested it could be a big force within extreme metal. French band Nephren-Ka not only further that promise but with their debut album but confirm they are the real and potent deal with a release and sound which is as carnivorous as you could wish for but stalked by an insidious undercurrent of melodic enterprise and barbed grooves which sneakily distract and seduce from the ravenous annihilation of the senses being raged above.
Hailing from Clermont Ferrand, the quartet of vocalist Laurent Chambe, guitarist/backing vocalist Sébastien Briat, bassist/ backing vocalist Alexandre Phalippon, and drummer Thibaud Pialoux build upon earlier successes with a masterful display of deliciously sculpted venomous invention and lethal imagination with their first full-length release. Following their Revenge and Supremacy EP of 2012, the album carves out a formidable and lingering presence on thoughts and senses. Inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune saga, rather than maybe the more expected Egyptian/Lovecraft premise as suggested by the band name, the Kaotoxin Records released, The Fall of Omnius is a full and vibrant, dark and intimidating confrontation which leaves hunger and passion a ripe response to its thunderous assault.
Butlerian Djihad immediately cascades heavily down on the ear, riffs and rhythms insatiable torrents which launch at the senses like a primal swarm of caustic animosity in bestial form. Entwining its ferocity is a waspish groove which licks addictively at the ear to raise the strongest seduction, the drum work of Pialoux is an unrelenting tempest of craft and fury. It is a towering start which secures full want and need to dive deeper into the release, its invention and unpredictable underbelly a teasing discovery beneath the more demanding surface which offers and gives more with each encounter.
The following Mastering the Voice slowly prowls and skirts the senses with a blackened almost doom laden intent before taking a serpentine breath and expelling a gaseous sonic venom through rhythmic and riff crafted malevolence. The track merges its lumbering predation and merciless rabidity into a compelling and at times swift savaging of the sense’s jugular with precise and taunting guitar temptation wagging its beckoning claws. Without quite matching its predecessor the song is a fanatical constantly shifting provocation softening up any resistance for the scintillating violence and virulence of Legend of Selim (Pt. 1: The Seeds of Discord). Torrential in its climate and annihilatory in its intent, the track is a resourceful and invigorating consumption leaving no synapse and fear unrifled. Once again though as invidious as it is, the technical craft and melodic acidity which flares up and washes eagerly over the imagination are enthralling and a balm to the otherwise vicious sonic typhoon.
Arguably without in depth investigation there is an uniformal violence at work which leaves its track seemingly mere steps away from what surrounds them, the likes of the crudely feral but inventively sculpted The Rise of Omnius and the gut borne Feydakins Storm forging a close surface savagery to those tracks prowling alongside them but holding an undercurrent of individuality and ingenuity which has to be worked for.
The sonically and rhythmically ruinous The Cymek Revolution brings another storm of barbaric enterprise, its unquenchable hornet like stinging grooves an irrepressible niggle within a juggernaut of sanguinary riffing and drum violence whilst its oppressive weighty climax is a lime pit of corrosive and vehement creative fecundity. The track simply chews up and spits out the senses before treading the debris beneath its cyclonic and purposeful spite.
The final trio of songs are just as magnetic and fearsome, the unpredictably fiendish Legend of Selim (Pt. 2: The return of the Worm Rider) and the draconically fiery Praise Shai-Hulud though close in presence further demanding and welcome malignancies whilst the closing To the Golden Path is a final flesh flailing pestilence to fall before with a willing purpose.
Wrapped in the artwork of Stan W. Decker (Avalon, Vanden Plas, Dysmorphic…), The Fall of Omnius is an outstanding album which just needs time to unveil all its nasty and insidious treats. With the only moan being it is impossible to make out the lyrics from the otherwise excellent vocal tsunami of brutal passion, Nephren-Ka has unleashed one extremely accomplished and thrilling beast which suggests that they will only go from strength to even more hateful strength from here on in.
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