Never compromising the pain that fuels their art, Swedish hardcore outfit No Omega have issued a numbing assault of personal and societal anguish across their past two records, ‘Metropolis’ and ‘Shame’. Their consistent touring schedule has only made their sound and worldview harder as a band, which is brutally manifest in their third full-length ‘Culture.’
While they’ve never shied away from the more gruelling side of life in their lyrics, ‘Culture’ sees frontman Oscar push his insecurities and anxieties to a deeper level. “We used to feel safe, we used to belong, we used to find meaning, we had a future,” both he and bassist Joakim yell desperately on the opening title track against a salvo of tremolo picking and blast beats that approach the classic black metal sound.
The entire band is blunt and direct with their delivery across the album, which makes for breathtaking moments of confrontation like the violent outburst that opens ‘Cogs’ where tight guitar and drum patterns slam against each other to create a claustrophobic atmosphere, as well as a sick beatdown. Even more sensitive moments, like the melodic ‘Within, Without’ remain captivating in their urgency.
‘Culture’ is by no means an easy record, and is one that demands patience and repeated listens before all the complex and disorientating song structures begin to fall together piece by piece. No Omega have pushed themselves to reach new intensities using a sound they’ve perfected since their 2010 formation, which shows them at their hardest and at their most vulnerable. Their pain bleeds into their art, and their art makes for essential listening.
‘Culture’ by No Omega is released 5th May on Dog Knights Productions.
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Words by Andy Davidson (@AndyrfDavidson)