Greatsong Tangent – Omega Centauri

Escapism is an important component of music. A strong sense of time and place can make a song or album memorable. Every listen is a trip to place imagined or recreated. Black Metal picked up on the escapism aspect early on, painting wall size canvases of mythic battles, demonic summonings, darkly spiritual journeys, cold isolation, lonely desolation, sweeping lamentations of despair. In BM you can hear vast fields filled with countless dead, graying in the cold winter sun. You can hear snowy forests whispering with the presence of ignominious spirits. You can hear the sundered timbers of great warships splintering on the rocks of the blood-soaked shore. But when exploring the cold and dark places, why limit oneself to earthly explorations? What about space?

Omega Centauri have answered that call, steeping their brand of black metal in the essence of exhausted stars and swirling gases, brooding singularities and hurtling bodies. Omega Centauri’s song “Fallen”, from their Universum Infinitum album, best exemplifies their reach for, and grasp, of the cold and dark romance of space.

In “Fallen” there are distant riffs, burgeoning resonances, heavenly radiances and un-traversable distances. Sounds are treated, distorted, smeared, bent by relativity, by atmospheres, by the laws of gravity. The blasting roar that bursts forth at two minutes seems like an echo from another time, the stretched-out last cry of some lost astronaut facing down the horrible brilliance of an all-consuming supernova. There is loud and quiet, release and meditation. Above all the journey is mysterious, entrancing. This is celestial information, transmissions to get lost in.

The final act of “Fallen” is a more traditional take on metal, rollicking and poignant. Tom Vallely’s chords and purposeful drumming speak of adventure and loss, days filled with action, struggle and tragedy. Rob Polon’s howls are treated perfectly, emanating from a place that appears invitingly rich from afar, but in reality holds only hopeless emptiness. “And now you’re gooooooone” howls Polon, before receding to unknown quadrants. The song ends as it begins, dimly, a subtle pulsing in the resplendent glow of the distant cosmos.

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