Budapest, Hungary's Omega Diatribe is actually one of the contemporary groups that I follow the closest, so I was quite excited to score an early listen to Trinity—the band's aptly-titled 12-song, 53-minute third release. Trinity marks Omega Diatribe's debut outing with new vocalist Milán Lucsányi from Sleepless, as well as their first for Ukrainian label Metal Scrap Records, and convincingly presents more of their top-shelf Fear Factory-tinged Meshuggah vibes (with the proggy leanings of, say, Intronaut)—all delivered through their unique, modern spin on massive, hulking grooves and sinewy, psychedelic leads.
After a teasing start/stop intro, "Souls Collide" kicks down the door with spurts of a charging death metal lean; powerful, head-nodding grooves; and droning, abstracted lead textures—introducing Lucsányi as a fitting replacement for former frontman Gergely Komáromi as his comparable midrange snarls frequently veer toward either higher sneers or guttural growls (and even a few Hatebreed-esque spits) for subtly increased diversity. "Filius Dei" opens with some sick panning and more of a cutting bass presence, its tweaky time signatures laying the groundwork for a sleek rhythm section break with some jazzy flare on the cymbals, which always grabs my attention; the title track's chugging bend/release formula following suit with quirky twists in the arrangement that make the timings seem more janky than they actually are.
Early singles, "Spinal Cord Fusion" breaks off a faster-paced, gnashing edge countered by dense palm-muted sludginess; "Divine of Nature" rolling the album's aesthetics thus far into detuned "spaghetti string" territory (not a bad thing) while retaining enough dissonant melody and energy to provide the perfect balance.
The six-plus-minute "Replace Your Fear" is Trinity's longest track, creeping in with a restrained and melodic atmosphere—though no less heavy, mind you—amidst which several layers of guitars couple with crashing cymbals for added intensity before eventually diving into more caustically discordant chord phrasings and panning/delay effects (with piano) for the outro. "Oblation" acts as a brief instrumental segue containing samples of someone discussing transplanting heads from brain-dead organ donors; before "Chain Reaction" returns to the no (or at least few) frills base of the Omega Diatribe approach for the album's final stretch.
"Denying Our Reality" presents a spacious and rhythmically interesting interspersal of half-harmonic dead-string strums prior to surging forward with some slow-grinding tremolo picking and watery melodies. Acoustic guitar joins in toward the end alongside some of the record's most clear-cut solos and powerful melodic buildups—certainly one of my favorites when all is said and done!
"Compulsion" and "Wraith" then—again—hammer home that patented Omega Diatribe brand of "extreme groove metal": hard-hitting rhythms and spacey lead tones aplenty. Killer instrumental "Tukdam" brings things to a close with somber clean passages and hand drums (like tablas or something) leading into one final swell that brings in the tribal flare of thicker, denser percussion and even some chilled-out saxophone, I think!? It's pretty fuckin' awesome, and I—for one—think it could be really cool to hear the band break out these types of experiments a little more often.
Recorded in guitarist Gergő Hájer's own 515 Studio, I really dig the production. I'm guessing that a fair amount of modern and digital-centric techniques are employed, but everything sounds pretty damn great to me. Things can get a little "crispy" on rare occasion with a couple of brief volume peaks, but my ears find the whole of the mix dense and warm—ultra heavy, yet clear. It's the type of shit that really makes me feel like breaking out a guitar, and the tones have a hell of a lot to do with that!
Omega Diatribe may not be the most diverse group in the world, but they're far from one-sided, and never get boring to me. I know that these djenty/nu-metal types of sounds are stigmatized from certain perspectives, but Omega Diatribe comes across as far more "real" and respectable to me. They're not overly pristine and pretty—their work has some guts to it. They're just a badass band, man—great riffs, cool songs... and the feel of it just hooks me in, what can I say?
The only "problem" with these advance listens is that I can't let the music do the talking, so you'll just have to take my word for it based on the few tracks that are available pre-release (or their equally recommended past efforts)! Trinity hits the streets on April 1st for Hungary and Ukraine; April 13th in the U.K., Europe, and Japan; and April 20th here in the U.S. Keep an eye out! And, yes, nine months from now, Omega Diatribe will very likely make my list of year-end favorites for the second time, too...