It may be raw and at times uncomfortable on the senses but Anima is equally one fascinating invasive proposition. The debut solo album of Feanor Omega, an Austrian musician with a long list of projects and bands played with on his CV, including Sakrileg, Make A Change… Kill Yourself, Tongueless Cuntkiller, and Scargod, Anima is an absorbing and ferocious embrace of styles and textures within unpredictable and atmospheric black metal climates. At times it is a corrosive listen and in other moments a melodic seduction, but from start to finish ears are held and thoughts relentlessly intrigued.
With just bassist Mike Hell (Disastrous Murmur, Sakrileg, Scargod) alongside and an occasional guest contribution, Carinthia hailing Omega creates a series of individual yet emotionally united soundscapes which absorb and immerse the listener with varying effects. It all starts with Waiting and a gentle melodic caress of guitar. There is an immediate calm and elegance which washes over the senses though in the background brews a darker more tempestuous air. Its break through is not as ravenous as first expected, beauty and raw causticity uniting to temper any emotional trespass whilst similarly potent clean vocals mingle with pestilential squalls as the track ebbs and flows with intensity and dark charm.
Bracing sonic winds brings Otherworld swiftly into view next, the track opening with a cloudy imposing atmosphere though one soon showing clearer melodic skies crafted by guitar and again clean vocals. Everything about the song and indeed album has uncertainty though, an unpredictable breath which means nothing can be taken for granted, any peaceful passage coming lined with threat or a ruinous underbelly whilst any destructive incitement carries the means to fluidly slip into calmer if still intimidating waters.
Risen is such an example, its opening oasis of melodies and nature bred flirtation soon the centre of a tsunami of sonic ravaging and rhythmic hostility yet that too has its own invasive beauty lit by the maelstrom of vocals. It is not an easy listen at times but continually an alluring one, which as the album itself, leaves the seeds to entice the listener back again and again. That fertile essence in an arid sonic landscape emerges again with captivating guitar craft from Omega, its beauty immersive in the ever waiting inhospitable air.
The bracing instrumentation of Drowning next inspires an equally enticing clean vocal delivery. Omega is not the greatest vocalist you will meet but one which really manages to sync his tones and vocal character with that of the sounds around him. It is a great track, a respite before the abrasing presence of Die Sonne Weint, though it too, as all songs, veins the ambient fury with emotive strands of delicious melodic enterprise. There is a serpentine air to the song, an insidious essence which seeps from every squall and pernicious blaze of sound and also prowls the following Noir even in its more temperate climate. The shadow loaded instrumental is a canvas for the imagination to paint, though its bare emotion and stark atmosphere is an instant incitement to spring ideas from too.
The twelve minute plus Epos: Anima similarly is a palette for thoughts and emotions, an asylum like air which underlining every second and sound of the black metal and acoustic union. If a little over long for personal tastes, there is no hiding place within the controlled bedlam of the track from its emotional rancor or its tantalising imagination.
Missing Home provides a turbulent and darkly charming finale to the album with bonus track Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost providing one last impressive piece of composing and instrumental poetry. Both tracks ensure a great end to the thoroughly intriguing and ultimately enjoyable proposition. It does test but also rewards across it magnetic length, and though Anima will be too much of challenge for some it is a proposal all black, extreme, and atmospheric metal fans should at least investigate.
Anima is available now on CD and digitally @ https://feanoromega.bandcamp.com/
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