The TODTGELICHTER/NE OBLIVISCARIS duo take black metal to new realms.
As the great H.P. Lovecraft once said, "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." Many can agree that what lies beyond one's level of comfort and understanding is sometimes met by fear and anxiety. It's simply human. When one overcomes said fear, the opportunities become endless, allowing one to excel in areas believed not to be attainable. It is due to this self-confidence that metal has grown and continues growing in dynamic ways since the inception of the BLACK SABATH years. Enter OMEGA INFINITY.
With today's arrival of Solar Spectre via Season of Mist, OMEGA INFINITY lay a foundation for an endeavor that aims to expand with each coming effort. Consisting of TODTGELICHTER's Tentakel Parkinson and Mark 'Xenoyr' Campbell of NE OBLIVISCARIS, OMEGA INFINITY serves as a conduit for conceptual understanding through an iteration of black metal. This musical union finds each musician deviating from terrestrial norms to take listeners to heights not otherwise explored by their respective main bands. Grandiose soundscapes and turbulent tempos tower over those keen to engage, providing quite the unique take on a genre best known for harnessing darkness. Though it may not be an easy listen, it stands as a rewarding one.
We talk to OMEGA INFINITY about all things Solar Spectre:
After eight transmissions from the void, ‘Solar Spectre’ has now made its ravaging way to Earth. This being a unique entity that deviates from NE OBLIVISCARIS and TODTGELICHTER, where did you two find common ground for OMEGA INFINITY? Omega Infinity: The common ground was to stray away from already trodden on paths that our main bands explored. Plus a bit more liberty to express ourselves in more aggressive and straightforward ways. Having spawned from your own creative endeavors, OMEGA INFINITY takes black metal to otherworldly lengths. Musically, what did you want to achieve with ‘Solar Spectre’? OI: We wanted to paint a picture of The Void. The darkness beyond existence. We wanted to create alien worlds, and as you correctly mentioned, outerworldish soundscapes. To take the listener to a journey beyond their comfort zone. But we also wanted to keep it simple, more accessible than our main bands. Was the overall idea of what can be coined as ‘void metal’ something that came about as you were writing and recording for the record? Or was this purely intentional prior to approaching ‘Solar Spectre’? OI: We have always been fascinated with what lies beyond. And even further, what exactly the definition of that ‘Beyond’ even means. Sure, it is easy to label the borders of the know universe as ‘beyond’. But The Void – as we understand it – can also be the ‘Beyond’ of the infinity of the microcosm, the gaps between the known ingredients of our solid existence, the darkness of what lies between two quarks for example.
Even if we would find something smaller, there is still an infinity of space between those elements, like a fractal. And of course, no meaning of the ‘beyond’ is complete without pondering what Death exactly is. IN OMEGA INFINITY, Death is also the state that comes before birth, and the state we will all inevitably fall back into.
Opening track ‘Uranus’ sets the tone for the record early on with ‘Jupiter’ and ‘Terra’ taking it to new heights, closed only by ‘Mercury’ in grandiose fashion. That said, each track is an atmospheric achievement. How do you structure the making of each track? OI: As opposed to our main bands, we don’t think too much when it comes to composing. We just kind of let it flow through us. The moment we stop and think consciously about how we create the sounds and music is the moment we stop the session and continue another time. We must be in a state where we are only antennas that receive rather than trying to force something in a certain direction. Only then can we create an honest expression of The Void. Continuing with the void, where did the planetary concept behind the record come about and how did it drive the sound direction for ‘Solar Spectre’ as it was put together? OI: Each stellar body serves as an atmospheric map or mood for the tracks named after them, as we perceive them. The listening experience is complete when all pieces are laid out on the table. There are no standalone tracks - the whole thing needs to be together to make sense. The concept of the planets and the sun – our own solar system – is only the start of our exploration of what The Void is. Future releases will journey far away from here, and also away from the “Now“ in which we are living. In the modern age of metal subgenre influx and criticisms, do you see this particular ‘void metal’ identity impacting you in any way? Perhaps setting predetermined expectations and perceptions of what OMEGA INFINITY should be? OI: No. On the contrary, the term is liberating as it was deliberately created to segregate what we do from the ideological concepts of Black Metal, with which we undeniably share the musical foundation, yet still keep the inherent darkness and rawness that our music shares with that particular genre. Plus we find that while the term evokes a certain expectation indeed, so far those expectations are congruent with what we actually try to convey. Like with the NE OBLIVISCARIS releases, Xenoyr has taken on the artistic duties for ‘Solar Spectre’, depicting quite the astral entity. Seeing as the cover is a spot on reflection of the darkness within the record, did the music inspire the visual or vice versa?
OI: The cover is one of the last things that were created for the album. The music and the concept came first. Again, we serve as an antenna to The Void and the depiction of the album title shaped itself since our artistic vision was clear and simple to both of us from the very beginning. Artistically, what did you want to achieve with the cover? OI: As the rest of the artwork and the whole concept was pretty simple, yet vast and due to the nature of space without specific symbolism, we felt that the ‘Solar Spectre’ – the looming death of our home star, the sun in a few billion years so to speak – needed an anthropomorphisation to connect to the viewer. Assuming the art is worked on in conjunction with the recording, how is the creative approach to your cover illustrations distinct to that of the music? OI: As the way OMEGA INFINITY works is pretty much straightforward in comparison to the compromises you have to make when more people are involved, like with NE OBLIVISCARIS or TODTGELICHTER, there where no other opinions that wanted to implement certain symbolicism or change parts of the cover. It created itself solely from the music and spoke to both of us immediately. With visuals playing a key role in the overall concept of OMEGA INFINITY’s persona, were there any particular album covers or visual elements that you can recall having an impact on you as a listener? Perhaps even changing the way you engaged with a record? OI: Not that we can think of right away, no. We tried to present ourselves with a tabula rasa as the birthplace of this creation, free from influences; and just try to see what came forth from The Void. This is the unfiltered result. That Victor Safonkin painting on Killing Joke’s Hosannas From the Basements of Hell is quite the cover isn’t it? OI: It surely is, but then again Safonkin’s inspiration for the cover is very clearly inspired by the visions of hell Hieronymus Bosch has created. He deserves the credit for the inspiration of this particular depiction of one of The Beyonds, you could say: an early form of The Void.
As you’d assume, the previous question was catered towards your digipak-exclusive cover of that album’s title track. Of the many Killing Joke offerings, what led the decision to go with Hosannas From the Basements of Hell? OI: Of all KILLING JOKE tracks throughout all albums (except on “Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions” to a certain extent), this track is one of the most aggressive and most straightforward KJ songs. And they have been a quite straightforward band to begin with, even with many of their albums differing in style. One thing that is quite fascinating about them is how the older they got, the angrier they sounded. This particular track is abrasive, dark and relentless. A perfect choice to try our own sound on it.
‘Solar Spectre’ marks only the beginning for OMEGA INFINITY, introducing many to the wonders of ‘void metal’. What, if anything, do you intend listeners take from the experience you’ve set forth with this debut? OI: We have only started our journey into The Void beyond indeed. We expect our growing disciples to prepare for a greater journey into cosmic darkness – the future is already written and just lurks in the darkness until our listeners have fully ingested ‘Solar Spectre’. When you have found darkness in our offerings – join us in the great Beyond!
Stream Solar Spectre in full below and order your physical copy of this endeavor HERE.