Gnosis (Florida) – Omens From the Dead Realm

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: http://www.nwnprod.com
Released: 2021
Buy Album: https://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/omens-from-the-dead-realm
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/gnosis.fl/

Band line-up:

C.V. – Drums
R.P. – Vocals|
D.A. – Guitars

Tracklisting:

1. Conjuration of the Nemesis
2. Typhlotic Visions
3. Excite the Tempest
4. Apzu, Sea of Deat
5. Transcendence Pt. II
6. The Eleventh Step, The Gate Unknown
7. Omens from the Dead Realm
8. Awakening the Third Eye
9. Watcher of a Faceless Abyss

 

 

 

 

Review:

Gnosis are a death/black metal band from Florida who formed in 2013. They will be releasing their latest full length album ‘Omens From the Dead Realm’ on 1st August 2021, through Nuclear War Now! Productions. It follows 2015’s ‘The Third-eye Gate’, and 2018’s ‘The Offering of Seven’. The band are for fans of Greek acts Varathron, and Rotting Christ, yet they still have their own distinctive sound. (The word ‘gnosis’ is Greek for ‘knowledge’, further showing the group’s interest in the country’s culture). 

For a death metal band, the songwriting is often very strong, here. Lesser artists would just stick to semi-mindless and repetitive riffs, alone. The harmonies are almost always perfectly adequate, but they are at their best when other genres are borrowed from. Track ‘Typhlotic Visions’ is genuinely very clever in its ending section, with its independent melodies. It is clearly classically inspired. I’m sure it was intentional the way the listener is made to wait for such highlights, but in my opinion all tracks could do with such adventurousness. Cheap sounding keyboards are often utilised in the LP, creating an early 90s black metal feel. If you love the raw yet mysterious sounds of the past, you’re in for a treat here. In fact the production on the whole is rather raw, only making the sound more intriguing. As I always say, computer modifications rarely give a release soul.

Having said all that positive stuff, the guitar solos suck, but luckily they’re not often heard, and when they are, they are usually used to add to the atmosphere (which does work in a way), rather than them being made to impress. At least I hope they’re not supposed to be impressive. Track ‘Transcendence Pt. II’ (part I was on a previous release), is an interesting, Middle Eastern-inspired instrumental piece, with ambient features. It’s surprisingly hypnotic for such a heavy band, and it’s definitely worth zoning out to. In the middle of the album, it creates a nice sense of balance, showing the band take structure very seriously. The way the M.E. influences reappear towards the very end of the album, creates a strong sense of story, many extreme fans won’t be used to. Sadly however, they could be more developed. Track ‘The Eleventh Step, The Gate Unknown’ is more thrashy and even tradition metal-sounding in terms of instrumentation, (you still get the shouts) but it’s for the best the band don’t stick to that style. It’s pretty dull, the musicianship is particularly scrappy, and the riffs are beyond cliched. 

In conclusion, the musicians clearly have what it takes to compose unusually thoughtful death metal, but for whatever reason, that wasn’t their main writing style. Having said that, I read that ‘Apzu, Sea of Death’ is supposed to be their best track. Whilst certainly not bad, I consider it to be fairly standard in terms of chord progressions. (Though again, I do like its beautifully simple, surreal and nostalgia inducing synths). I guess everyone has different tastes, right? Again, in my opinion, if all tracks were like ‘Typhlotic Visions’, the album would be highly respectable. As it stands, it is only average. It is worth checking out at least once, but there are countless more daring, more exciting, more skilful, etc. acts out there.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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