Given that OMIT are from Norway, and that they play a slow, melodic, crushing style of Doom, it is no surprise that their debut album betrays some influence from their fellow countrymen in FUNERAL. It is disappointing, however, that this influence is overwhelming to the point of imitation, drowning out any individual voice that this band may have had, and making them little more than a poorly realized FUNERAL clone.
The similarities are obvious within the first seconds of opener, “Scars.” The main riff bears the same tone and cadence of much of the material on recent FUNERAL releases “From These Wounds” and “As The Light Does The Shadow.” This would be forgivable if OMIT had added their own voice to the sound and made it distinctive, but they did not. By the second track, the imitation is so obvious and frequent that it becomes a distraction.
In terms of songwriting, the band show little discipline. This is a two-disc release consisting of only five songs, all of which exceed fourteen minutes. There is a compositional formula that repeats throughout each of these: crushing passages with occasional (3~4 per song) softer interludes in which the melody is carried by natural (i.e., non-electric) instruments. Transitions into and out of these interludes are often abrupt. Furthermore, there is not enough variety in melody and tempo, both within and among the songs. After an hour of this, boredom has long set it, making unforgiveable the decision to close the album with a song that exceeds 26 minutes.
This album’s strengths lie in the quality of the sound. The production is remarkably clean and spacious, particularly on the low end. The guitar tone is warm, yet suffocating, and emphasis is placed on the drums, giving more power to the overall sound. As a result, the album succeeds in terms of mood and atmosphere where it fails in terms of musicality.
There is some potential here, but it has been lost amid poor execution. “Repose” is derivative and self-indulgent, as the song lengths and poor pacing are major problems here. When listening to such a mammoth work, one is entitled to expect some sense of progression as it unfolds; here, the crescendo and climax come early in the album, and the remaining bulk of the music is denouement. OMIT would do well to teach themselves something about the revision process and about delayed gratification.
(Online January 4, 2012)