Good Omens, Trondheim, 25/09/15
Usually it’s not a good sign of the music on offer when a pint costs more than the ticket; but this is Norway and despite the fact that said pint doesn’t even get filled to the top, I’m excited for an introduction to Trondheim’s local metal scene.
First-up in the very cosy confines of Good Omens are Ingenium, usually a four-piece, but this evening only comprising of drummer and guitar player. Whether this is a one-off or a permanent development is either not explained or is lost in translation to me. Very apparent, however, is the impressive dynamic interaction between the coupling of instruments. How two people manage to create such forceful volume is remarkable in itself, but Ingenium’s ability to ebb and flow between the prominence of drums or guitar, to waver between crashing doom and sparse melody, all while maintaining compelling tracks which neither lose focus or become self-absorbed is accomplished.
Describing their own sound as “progressive Norwegian death metal” does in fact seem pretty accurate. More so, however, in this guise. Having searched out their regular manifestation, the band, completed with bass and vocals, though providing interesting enough nuances to use the term ‘progressive,’ become a far more familiar proposition. The vocals certainly add more of a death metal touch, but they also mask some of the more compelling and evocative aspects of the musicianship, which is displayed here in their concentrated form.
Ingenium proper will probably appeal more to fans of fierce doom than death metal, whereas the Ingenium we’re treated to this evening will appeal more to fans of post-metal. It seems constricting to suppose which version is superior when both have the potential to be entirely distinct and effective – as is so deftly displayed by the duo formation here (7/10).
“Never judge a band by its hipster beards, seemingly underage vocalist and incongruously gyrating girlfriends” – that’s how the saying goes, right?
Hypermass are a young band playing melodic, technical death metal. Take that as you will.
The alcove stage of Good Omens isn’t particularly conducive to a kinetic live show, but the lads do a fine, practiced job of channelling the right energy and enthusiasm. The skilled musicianship on display is obvious, and despite not being overly inspired or inspiring, the tracks have been knowledgably assembled. As a result, one can’t avoid feeling that each individual component of Hypermass could be far better put to use in other projects more suited to their individual inclinations.
The band are certainly cutting their teeth sharp but may need to start thinking about stretching their musical muscles rather than constricting themselves to this currently hypermass-produced niche of metal (5.5/10).