Culture by NO OMEGARelease date: May 5, 2017
Label: Dog Knights Productions
“If the music is loud we won’t hear the sound of the world falling apart”
This Swedish hardcore/screamo/metal band (actually very hard to label this band and I don’t like labelling) from Stockholm was founded in 2010 and up until now they have released 2 previous albums (Metropolis and Shame) and 3 EP’s (Untitled – self released, No Omega and Occupants).
I have been following NO OMEGA for quite some time now, so I was really looking forward to the release of the third full length and here it is: Culture.
In November 2016, No Omega entered the studio to record their third full-length (follow up from the EP ‘Occupants’ released in 2015). 12 new songs were recorded and sent over to Jack Shirley at the Atomic Garden Studio – who also worked with bands like Deafheaven, Loma Prieta and Oathbreaker – for mixing and mastering.
I was surprised the first time I heard the album. Something sounded different. But I could not pin point it. Then I found out that the band went through member changes in 2013. Which explained the difference in sound. (although it’s not noticeable on the Occupants EP)
In 2013 Andreas (vocals) and Victor (drums) left the band and Oscar went from playing the guitar to be the new vocalist. Daniel shifted from bass to guitar.
Now the band consists of Daniel (guitar), Joakim (bass), Oscar (vocals) and Gabriel (drums).
It is noticeable that the band went also through personal growth and although they had some member changes, you still hear it’s NO OMEGA within a second.
Now, after I’ve listened to the album for the x-time, I can’t even tell a difference anymore. The sound has changed a bit because of the personal touch of the new drummer.
Another factor is that the writing of the lyrics and music has been divided differently amongst the members and of course that also has left an imprint on the music behind. But to my ears no dramatic changes in their sound. Also not vocal wise, since Oscar was already doing back up vocals up to this point.
Musically Culture is very diverse and still in the trend of their previous albums. Morphing tempos from slow to blast beats and crushing D-Beats. Raging guitar riffs that also give me a “post-black whatever style” feeling. Which has to be said: Fits NO OMEGA.
Melodic melancholic music filled with raw emotion as expected. If you hear Oscar scream you really feel the pain. It is something one can relate to. The music and the lyrics speak to you, also because it is a very personal experience. To me the album is something where I feel connected to. But the same goes for their previous albums.
The guest vocals on this album are provided by: Jonathan Lemberg (Shirokuma), Meghan Minior (Ampere, Longings, Static Frame Design: creator of the artwork) and Elina Nilsson (Via Fondo). The additional guitars on ‘Phobia’ are presented by: Jack Shirley.
The production of this album is very mint and clean. I think this was the first time Jack Shirley did the mixing and mastering of one of their albums, so that can also explain the difference in sound. The lyrical themes of this outspoken vegetarian/vegan band are very diverse. Social phobia, heartache, hopelessness, communication, political views and friendship are just a few of them. They’ve always had a very strong anti-capitalist and anti-neo-liberalist standpoint connected to environmental issues but this album in particular has a more personal intake than ever.
In a nutshell: Although the member changes, this is clearly a new and very strong NO OMEGA album which I recommend to all hardcore, screamo, punk, crust lovers. It even has a post-metal influence, but like I said earlier, this is a band that is hard to label. Well done guys. Looking forward to future gigs and works.