Label: Altar Of Waste Records
If proof were ever needed that the correct use of minimalism can create a sense of heaviness just as effective as filling every single second with all available notes, then Mind Of God certainly help provide it. Ominous is the kind of animal that knows just how effective psychological terror can be, with its heavy industrial and dub rhythms and sounds producing an atmosphere of intense darkness. It’s as good as impossible to listen to this and not have a sense of paranoia grow, such is the malice and threat held in these six songs. And yet, it’s all the more effective for the way it’s all so cleverly restrained and minimal, with heavy use of repetition and small flourishes resulting in an anxious dystopian soundscape.
There’s something slightly retro about the sounds and influences on Ominous, instantly bringing to mind the likes of Techno Animal, Coil, and the early works of industrial pioneers such as SPK and Einstürzende Neubauten. The beats are incredibly heavy, and it’s hard not to be absorbed in to them; despite the undeniable heaviness, there’s also something quite ambient about Ominous, with each track building an aura that drowns the listener, submerging them in the dark, treacherous waters. It’s safe to say that this is one album that lives up to its name.
There’s more to this record than just beats though, as notable and strong as they are. There are plenty of small flourishes and embellishments, adding extra character and texture to the tracks. “Technological Overdose Vomit Transfer” makes great use of small melodies that are deceptively light, at odds with all else that surrounds them; they create such a stark contrast that it really highlights how uneasy the track is. The synths used in “Junk Injektion” help turn an already disorientating track in to something even more nightmarish. And the way that both “Seizure Cyanide Hospital” and “Brain-Eating Amoeba” gradually add more and more elements – starting life as mere skeletons, before growing in to utter behemoths – is both clever and effective, with the former especially feeling like a walk home through the most dangerous parts of town. What makes their success even more notable is the way they never loose their sense of space and minimalism, whilst also being undeniably heavy – this is the most terrible kind of space, where every gap is filled by horrors and anxieties drawn from the depths of your imagination.
Given that the preceding five tracks do such a good job of trapping the listener in their world, it’s a shame that closer “Krokodil Synthesis Factory” ends the album on an uneven note – and I mean that literally. It starts in fine form, the heaviest, most full-on track on the album, but as it progresses, the production becomes increasingly unbalanced, with different elements seeming to move up and down in volume and emphasis. It’s very distracting, and a real shame, as it begins with such promise.
The closing track aside though, Ominous is a darkly addictive piece of work, one that I keep coming back to as the nights draw in – make no mistake, this is the kind of album that doesn’t just work best in the darkness, it’s designed for it. Highly recommended for those times when you want to shut out reality and simply embrace the darkness, in all its glorious, all-encompassing horror and dread.