Allochiria
Omonoia

Greece is not a pretty place to be right now. Allochiria takes their album’s name, Omonoia, from a neighborhood of Athens that has undergone significant urban decay. They play a style of post-metal that exists in a middle ground between the meditative atmospherics of bands like Pelican and mid-era Isis, and heavier sludge band akin to the likes of Neurosis

Album opener “Today Will Die Tomorrow” starts things off on a very Pelican-sounding post-rock note, but it turns out to be a false start. While this track displays the calming beauty of the more meditative post-rock/metal bands, this album makes a turn to the more abrasive side of sludge metal with a very dark, atmospheric sound. Six minutes into the same track, the guitars merge into a solid, heavy sludge riff that leans more to the Neurosis side of the genre. “Oppression” continues in this heavier vein, with a heavy, melancholy riff accompanied by hollering that calls to mind the heavier moments of early Giant Squid.

At this point in the album, I was worried that this was another tired, faceless post-metal rehash, but “Archetypal Attraction to Circular Things” is where some interesting, creative touches really go down. The murky, effectsy bass lays the groundwork for a psychedelic groove garnished by some processed female vocals that sets them apart from their contemporaries. A heavy, emotionally resonant riff follows, first accompanied by the raw vocals and then by a melodic guitar line laid over it. This is familiar ground, but it is played with sincerity and integrity.

“Archetypal Attraction to Circular Things” provides an ambient break laced with some acoustic guitar, “We Crave What We Lack” is pure Isis worship, but the reverby vocals have an almost black metal feel to them. The female vocals return at the end here, increasing the sense of otherworldly atmosphere.

“Charikleia’s Intermission” plays on some dissonant riffs that increase the listener’s feeling of claustrophobia before leading into the final two tracks. “K.” unleashes more sinister aggression than yet heard, and “Humanity is False” presents the best riff on the album, almost Electric Wizard-caliber stoner metal, but played through the band’s own raw intensity. The rough production and vocals add to the dark energy of the high points throughout the song’s 12 minutes of loud-quiet-loud contrasts.

For those who haven’t worn themselves out on the post-metal genre, this album is definitely worth a look. It strikes a good balance being familiar but not overly so, offering raw, palpable energy and a few creative flourishes you won’t find elsewhere.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J. D. Anderson
May 16th, 2014

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