Affliction, Endocrine...Vertigo

The French seem to have found a niche with expansive avant-garde post hard-core noise with the likes of Comity, Amanda Woodward, Bumblebees, etc, but this has to stand out as the best yet. This is soooo damn good folks that I’m not sure simple words can convey its brilliance.

With feet firmly planted in the Isis, Cult of Luna School of crushing drone and ambient interludes, Overmars flesh out the sound with a malign intellectual depth that’s holds more extreme appeal than the usual repetition and atmospherics of their peers. Burst or Buried Inside also seems to appear as viable comparisons. As expected, the twelve mammoth tracks are littered with a common theme interludes (“Destroy All Dreamers” parts I-V), that space the draining tension of the ‘full’ tracks, which often contain their own segues.

After the surprisingly brusque opener “Obsolete” the withering eleven minutes of “This is Rape” reveals the tortured soul of Overmars and even with their lumbering wall of noise, the vocals remain in a death/doom metal roar that deepens the already heavy aptitude of the track. With that vocal approach, Overmars should not only appeal to the usual sub-metal core/noise pundits, but could also see this having some appeal for fans of Swallow the Sun, Draconian, etc, as it often has the same layered, emotional construct, just with a less obviously death metal lineage. Part I of “Destroy All Dreamers” is the album’s first dreamy break, which is more than needed after the preceding track and offers up a delicate acoustic tangent and haunting clean vocals that bridges effortlessly into the equally lucid and relaxing instrumental build of “Deus Measures de Solitude” before the haunting and disturbing, piano laced “Buccolision / (bis) The Mistaken One pt. II (Geography is Just a Symptom)” sends seismic shivers down your spine.

“Destroy All Dreamers (Part II)” replaces the prior tracks psychosis with a whispered acoustics before the expansive Oceanic drone of “A Spermwhale’s Quest” takes hold with lucid ebbs and flows. After another chapter of the “Destroy All Dreamers” tale, the thirteen minute “En Memoire des Faibles qui Ont Survecu a Darwin” begins with an industrial throb before tumbling into more familiar Isis/Neurosis territory. Its first six minutes lacks the draining, emotional feel of the prior tracks, but halfway the heavenly acoustic break and subsequent climax is lull shattering. “From Love to Exhausting – The Story of This Intangible Thing Between Us” revives the creepy ambiance that Overmars seem to thrive on, this time starting with an eerie, swampy, Creole ooze before exploding into the more tidal throes of more Isis/Cult of Luna familiarity.

Ultimately, Affliction, Endocrine… Vertigo is a captivating and disturbing journey into the mind of seven talented and twisted Frenchmen, who have taken the structures of a successful genre and given it a sour infusion of garlic and angst. Good stuff.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 8th, 2005


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