Reviewed: March, 2023
Released: February 2023, Season of Mist
Reviewer: Kurt Almey
When Omega Infinity appeared on the scene in 2020 with their debut full-length “Solar Spectre”, I nearly fell in love with it before the needle had even dropped into the groove of that phonograph record. What wasn’t to love? The promise of a blackened death cosmic-themed concept album, a project bred from an international collaboration of Ne Obliviscaris and Todtgelichter members? At the risk of a terrible pun: the resulting effort was as expected – the planets had aligned. Three years later, and for Omega Infinity, the solar bodies remain aligned.
While “Solar Spectre” was unafraid to adjust the black metal formula by liberally applying cosmic atmospheres alternating between harsh space hellscapes and spacious black metal, “The Anticurrent” exceeds in further adjusting this formula. While the furious black metal and ominous, cold despair of the competing themes made for a unique and memorable outing, listening to “The Anticurrent” makes aware that the original concept was pioneered yet not fully realized. With a more thoughtful and patient approach, the new record presents essentially the same idea and intent but with more effective layering of the void and the viciousness. The black metal remains superb, particularly on tracks like “Banish Us from Eden” with an effectively creepy piano addition and the use of atmosphere overtures that sit loud above the metal without diminishing or distracting.
Omega Infinity’s evolving sound does not consume the entirely of the record though, and almost immediately we’re treated to a conceptual (and thematic) highlight with “To the Stars”. What initially feels to be an unrelenting black metal assault gives way to a beautiful and much needed reprieve that essentially sits mid album. Albeit a short break, it perfectly encapsulates the nature of the voyage across space; moments of terrifying travel through darkness punctuated if ever-so briefly by the beauty of the cosmos.
This idea bleeds through into “Death Rays”, forging ahead violently and only stopping for a moment so that we may allow our minds to wander and admire the stars. The album essentially ends on an epic track, a 13-minute affair, blistering away but collapsing inwards for its final four minutes, rewarding the listener with the effect of finally floating peaceful through space. A collective breath to be had for all. There are two cover tracks that have some next level fun following the “proper” conclusion: a Sear Bliss cover and – to my excitement – a cover of Emperor’s “Ye Entrancemperium”. Welcome additions not only as faithful covers but neat additions that presumably provide a window into the minds of our artistic duo and what inspires them.
Overall, “The Anticurrent” not only serves as a worthy introduction to those unfamiliar with Omega Infinity, but also succeeds at complementing and expanding on their debut LP. The guest vocals of Adrienne Cowan are quite striking too, a welcome addition to add a dynamic contrast to the menacing moments, and worthy to note in the final words. Highly recommended for black metal fans, blackened death fans, and all spacefarers.