This Greek instrumental duo came into existence back in 2012, and even though their moment of inception does not seem to be that far away in the past, these guys are veterans of the scene. Their résumé includes acts such as Violet Vortex, Noiselust and Tenderness of Wolves, while their name is taken as a tribute to Fleshpress‘ monumental album, Pillars. All that information can give you a good idea about what to expect with Omega Monolith, but it is the experience of listening to Vile, their newest EP, that will give you access to what lies at the core of this band.
The main focus of Omega Monolith is found within the time dimension of their music. The heavy guitars are build the soundscapes of the tracks, as multiple loops are fed through a towering wall of amps. This vision is complete with the addition of the monolithic drums, laying down the foundations of the music, constructing a sense of continuity and granting more determination to the slow movements of the band.
It can be therefore said that Omega Monolith rely on two pillars, their guitar along with their endless loops (Omega,) and the drums crafting the basis of their tracks (Monolith). So, let’s start with these aspects of the Omega. The very start of Vile is an exemplary instance of how Omega Monolith make use of feedback in their music, as the spectral output of the band takes on a pendulum-like form, constantly moving towards and away from you in circular motions, creating sonic earthquakes with its presence. This drone domain is further enhanced by the addition of chords, adding variation to the mesmerizing background. That quality is found throughout the EP, with moments such as the start of “Loophole” standing out, making it feel like the duration of a single guitar strum lasts for an eternity. It is also a method by which Omega Monolith are able to construct their tracks, through these continuous and evolving drones, but it can also be a means of deconstruction. The manner in which the opening track slowly dissolves, starting from the repetitive drum patterns and the guitars laying a mist of feedback along some more eerie parts, is startling.
On to the Monolith. The drums act like the spine of the music, setting down the heavy beats over the guitar parts. At times they bring in a more monotonous façade, as is the case with the beginning of the title track; however, that does not mean that they remain stable. Even within these structures, there are slight variations, which as a result are lifting the music even further. When Omega Monolith are going into a drone rock mode, as the heavy guitars take on a more solid form, with some venomous riffing, the drums are able to shift their style to compliment them. Similarly, when the music needs to reach a more aggressive and towering form, the drumming is the origin of the frantic outbreaks, taking on a more heavy groove mantle with a destructive perspective in mind and able to navigate through different tempos with great fluency. When you combine that with the more dissonant quality of the guitars, as well as the heavier riffs, and the interchangeability of edgy parts and heavy groove moments, you can only stand in awe in front of what Omega Monolith are creating. There are even instances of more succinct minimalism from the drums, as is the case with parts of the opening track, as single snare hits awaken the pulse of the tracks and solitary guitar strums joining in, leading to disorienting moments with switches of pace and further variations.
It all comes down to the way in which all the different elements interact in the music of Omega Monolith. Take the opening track, for instance. The build up from the feedback loops, to the inclusion of the chords coming left and right from the speakers and the patterns laid out by the drums – everything in there is meticulously processed and presented. The effects also play a big part in this, with the delays bringing forth a more eerie form, making it appear as if there is a tail of distorted feedback that follows each guitar strum. As a result, the panorama of the track is slowly filled, as soundscapes are being constructed, remaining constant and yet always shifting. It is a similar case with “Loophole,” the constructive process giving the track an imposing character, which only increases from that point on. The approach of the band in this case is more minimalistic, with the effects reigning for most of this track. However, no matter how minimal the approach might be, the end result has an expansive and holistic tone, as if a dark entity is floating over the concepts of Omega Monolith.
It is no accident that the second track of the album was called “Loophole,” as Omega Monolith are bending time itself, and the transitions left and right on the sonic field give a very spacious tone to the track. As time passes on, the concept of the track becomes more edgy and agitated, with noise inputs being presented, granting the track a very rich sonic texture, on top of which this inter-dimensional travel is taking place. Still, “Loophole” is a more subtle approach for Omega Monolith, with some more distinct melodies coming in the form of guitar phrases, bestowing an astral perspective on their music. The parts appear to be stretched out, making this work magnificent and eternal, while the addition of some dissonance enhances the edgy side of their music.
Vile is a tremendous glimpse into the progression of Omega Monolith. Given the fact that the band will soon release a full-length, it can be concluded that Vile does perfectly what is meant to. It is the perfect appetizer, and gives you a first taste of what you might experience next.