Antestor’s fourth full-length studio release was…not expected. For all intents and purposes, word on the band’s status was “on hiatus” at best. Then, word came out that the legendary Norwegian pioneers of what they refer to as “sorrow metal” (kind of a mix of black metal, death metal and doom metal, simmered for hours in an iron cauldron and sprinkled liberally with a heavy dose of forest metal), and my initial excitement was tempered a bit with the question of, “can it exceed the awesomeness that was The Forsaken?” After obtaining Omens and giving it a few listens, I would have to say the answer to that question is, “yes…and then some.”
First, let me say something about that artwork. \,,/AWESOME\,,/.
Just…look at it. Creepy, yet captivating. Like an H. R. Giger piece. Totally \,,/METAL\,,/, there.
Once you get done with that, when you delve into the music contained on Omen, you’re greeted with some of the most well-crafted atmospheric black metal/folk metal hybrid to ever caress your earholes. From the blistering opener “Treacherous Domain”, to the closer “Morkets Grode (Dark Soil”, you’re treated to a multi-faceted aray of hooks, riffs, blastbeats, doom atmospherics, and acoustic arrangements that leaves you quite satisfied at the end of the album.
As of this writing, it’s been four years since the release of Omen. I certainly hope they’re not gone for good, as it was the case before. If not, then they went out on a very high note. But, if they have anything more inside them, then I can wait for as long as possible. Highly recommended.