Overmars – Affliction, Endocrine…Vertigo –2005—Candlelight Records
1. Obsolete 2. This Is Rape 3. Destroy All Dreamers –Part I 4. Deux Mesures De Solitude 5. Buccolision/ The Mistaken One—Part II (Geography Is Just A Symptom) 6. Destroy All Dreamers –Part II 7. A Spermwhale’s Quest 8. Destroy All Dreamers –Part III 9. En Memoire Des Faibles Qui Ont Suvercu A Darwin 10. Destroy All Dreamers –Part IV 11. From Love To Exhausting: The Story Of This Intangible Thing Between Us 12. Destroy All Dreamers –Part V
Overmars is everything that is right in the genres of soundscapes and post-Neurosis metal. Their first full length, ‘Affliction, Endocrine…Vertigo’ fits loosely into that recent glut of bands playing lengthy, thick tunes in the vein of the previously mentioned Neurosis or Pelican, but unlike many of its peers, ‘Affliction…’ goes places. Now, I certainly am a fan of this ‘epic-core’ genre, don’t’ misunderstand, but often enough I have a hard time stomaching an entire CD of the mountainous hum of a down-tuned guitar and the brawny wails of burly, yet thoughtful men. It’s hard to shape such large sounds into a digestible album. And, at first, I thought that I would have this same problem with Overmars. The genre does indeed seem to be leaning in that direction. You’ve probably heard something like this before: large, resonating melodies that take minutes to form, counterbalanced by minimalist passages scattered here and there. 10 minute tracks. 2 minute interludes. Complicated song titles and artistic motifs, the works.
Yet, despite being almost predestined to fail (or at least be unremarkable) by association, Overmars manages to separate themselves from the rest of the group. Notably diverse and mature for a debut album, ‘Affliction…’ spans soundscapes with light, clean vocal interludes and monotonous, industrial influences blended through the down-tuned rumblings and dissonance. Slightly reminiscent of Cult of Luna, but not so one-dimensional. All those superlatives you might read on a promo sheet, like ‘epic, shattering, eerie, haunting’ for once actually apply. This album is all of those things, and definitely more, though at first blush it may be hard to realize. The vocals took a bit to warm up to me, since the music does most of the talking, but I was impressed with their range. The deep, prolonged death growl, even a Tom Waits vibe at one point, to a clean, mid-ranged and lighter voice. On one track, I actually didn’t hear the woman screaming until she’d been at it for probably 30 seconds. It’s one of those albums.
A heavy undertaking, ‘Affliction…’ is not music you toss in for a drive to the supermarket. This requires a lot of time, a lot of attention, and a lot of patience. However, if you have the imagination and the will, Overmars does not disappoint, and I know I’ll be waiting for their sophomore release. I can’t say just what ‘Affliction…’ is, but I know that I like it.
- Etiam 12.7.05
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