30.1.14

Omega & Ravencult - Split (2013)

Album | Straight Down in Hell / Deifier of Necromancy
Country | Greece / Greece
Genre | Black / Thrash Metal
Label | Evil Spell Records

| Take me from this cenotaph |

While I am a fan of Ravencult's whole discography, I was not familiar with the other act that contributed on this split before the time I got this, the old school black / thrashers Omega. Both bands have put out two full lengths so far, spreading the same kind of traditional eighties extreme metal and that's a fair reason for them to team up and release something like this together. The split contains two songs from each band, one of which is a cover, and it lasts eleven minutes in total. Since it was only released in 7" vinyl, I had the chance to listen to it on a vinyl player instead of digital streaming and that alone is great.

The sound of the record is fairly dirtier than what the bands have released in the past, giving a great, old fashioned feeling that reminds a lot of primitive first wave black metal. I don't consider it was that fascinating but it was surely enjoyable and should not be any cleaner, since there ought to be grimness and unforgiving ear assault. The instruments are audible and they provoke the dusty aesthetic of early bands, as if this record was released thirty years ago, a common ambition that is shared among many bands of today. Personally, I always go along with such attempts and I like listening to them, even though they usually don't add anything new to the genre or it's progress.

The split starts with the two Omega tracks and the opener is "Straight Down In Hell", which is the actual definition of old school black / thrash. It's based on a couple of speed / thrash metal riffs that remind a lot of early Venom, the vocals have the same harsh tone and it is somewhere around a middle going to fast speed, shouting the chorus line "straight down in hell" clearly and repetitively. The structure of the song is familiar too, containing a solo and few variations as a whole. Of course, it's far from original or unheard, but it should be fun jamming and recording it. Then, there is a cover of Zemial's "Fullmoon Necrophilia", done in Omega's way. It's not better or worse, it just is.

When Ravencult kicks in, one can hear their familiar style of playing and their superiority over the previous band. Their track "Deifier of Necromancy" is like a recording originally for Morbid Blood, as the fast paced black 'n' roll rhythms are once again the main ingredients. There is a great compositional arrangement and I loved the same things I loved in Morbid Blood, these being the wonderful riffs and the raw, raspy vocals. It's not a new surprise for Ravencult fans, just another awesome track to listen to. The last track of the split is their effort on Hellhammer's "Massacra", which pinpoints the original direction of the whole release. It's the eighties and you didn't know it.

It's a fact that Ravencult are more recognized than Omega and a comparison would justify that if one took a listen on this split record. Of course, naming who's better is not the point, since it is a great piece of old school black / thrash, with sincere compositions from each band and above all, a sincere feeling. I think all the die hard fans of that music and that era, will see this as a great gift from the bands and they will consider it a gem. It doesn't go any further than where bands have gone and gone again, if you are comfortable around this wave length, it works.

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