Stoke-on-Trent’s Omnibael came to our attention midway through last year with their split LP with New York noiseniks, Lip Critic.
Together they formed a violent matrimony in what was a grotesque collision of esoteric sound worlds and, to a degree, that continues in 2022 as Omnibael go it alone with their first standalone LP, Rain Soaks the Earth Where They Lie.
The two-piece (Phil Malpas – guitar/ vocals; Jason Kester – electronics) continue to plough through the eerie furrows that largely remain desolate. Their music is challenging, hard-hitting and primal, occupying the same dark corner as Cruel Nature label mates, Cavesnake.
Taking the ideas of The Body and Throbbing Gristle, Omnibael present their art it in a slightly more palatable form. It doesn’t make Omnibael a watered down version of their influences, though. Anything but, in fact.
While these bands have always been a grinding journey for the listener, to the point where it’s almost too much, Omnibael are somewhat of a counterbalance to sonic extremism.
Not since the contemptuous hell storm of Uniform’s 2020 landmark, Shame, has something in this space sounded so intense and claustrophobic.
It’s the kind of noise that gets the chops flapping. Proper screaming skull treatment, rising from the blood-stained killing floor (Last Days, Sound of the WW2 Story).
The aptly titled Mind Is a Mess kicks off this cold-eyed tour de-force. A clash between early Godflesh and the noise terrorism of The Body, and the intensity doesn’t let up throughout the rest of this release. With The Repetition and Nothing Tastes Better than Deceit, we are dragged through the murky prism of uncertainly with noise sequences that bristle with contempt.
While the astral interlude of Rung Keep is the necessary breather one needs when met with such menace, Omnibael get straight back to it with the befouled and tainted Flowing Backwards and Shut Out the Lights. Paranoid blocks of noise that shatter like fragments of an asteroid falling from the sky.
Over the past couple of years, metal and noise-rock has come into its own in the back half of a calendar year. With Rain Soaks the Earth Where They Lie, Omnibael get in early and, in doing so, they land one hell of a blow.
Rain Soaks the Earth Where They Lie is out now via Cruel Nature Records. Purchase from Bandcamp.