Album Review: OMIT Medusa Truth, Part 2
Four years. It’s been four long years since Omit released Medusa Truth Part 1, and the wait for the Norwegian trio’s follow up was… Absolutely worth it!
Medusa Truth Part 2 is unarguably the funeral doom dark horse’s finest record. It is also a remarkably accessible listen that will easily appeal to genre newcomers and devotees alike. That said, accessibility is probably the last thing that springs to mind when looking at the record’s sprawling song lengths—it is an hour long across just three tracks. Despite this, Omit’s stellar pacing and impeccable consistency move things along at a deceptively brisk pace. It even causes the album’s towering thirty-minute closer to sound far shorter than it actually is. As expected from the runtime, Omit does not rush to develop their melancholic soundscapes. Yet, there are still plenty of subtle pacing progressions and variations in each of the songs to keep fatigue from becoming an overt issue.
Although the somber, immersive atmosphere and epic song lengths are to be expected in funeral doom, Omit sharply deviate from genre norms when it comes to vocals. Like prior records, frontwoman Cecilie Langlie’s beautiful, slightly operatic singing carries Medusa Truth Part 2 —her presence elevates the record to soaring heights.
The lack of the gut-wrenching howls that personify typical funeral doom might raise some eyebrows, but Langlie’s dramatic and commanding delivery further solidifies the fact she’s one of the best vocalists in this genre. Her presence is felt throughout the record. Still, Langlie allows ample room for Omit’s lush instrumental backing to shine. Heavy riffs intersperse throughout the album. They certainly add a foreboding undertone a much-welcomed bite that excellently play off of Langlie’s soothing croons. The weighty guitaring that comes in around 20 minutes into “Medusa Truth,” the album’s phenomenal closer, is particularly impactful. It commands the remainder of the track, causing the album to finish on an especially strong note.
The trio experimented with a more directly harsh style on Caoimhín’s—a side project featuring all of Omit's members—The Age of Wolves last year. The latter track on the 2-song EP featured plenty of blackened shrieking and aggressive shredding but sounded disjointed from the otherwise relatively Omit-esque sound. Perhaps Omit will choose to experiment with that style of metal on their future releases. Either way, Mesuda Truth Part 2’s firmly melodic approach is undoubtedly to its benefit. Regardless, near-unparalleled consistency is Omit’s defining strength. Every segment of every song progresses naturally and sounds like a necessary piece of a whole. There’s hardly a hint of filler or overlong buildup.
Though there’s rarely a moment on Medusa Truth Part 2 that falls flat. There isn't much in the way of grand, album-defining moments of standout excellence, either. This was also an issue on the band’s prior records. However, Medusa Truth Part 2’s steady quality means that even if it’s hard to discern individual high points, the overall experience is still wonderfully gripping.
Admittedly, this will probably hamper some of the record’s long-term replay value if spun in excess; the same could be said for most albums with such gargantuan songs though. It's still a commendable feat that Medusa Truth Part 2 boasts such high standards of musicianship, especially for songs that stretch longer than some entire records. This, of course, might not be a typical funeral doom record. Yet, Medusa Truth Part 2 is easy proof that Omit is one of the best, albeit overlooked, practitioners of this genre.
Tyler Hersko is spreading the truth on Twitter.