Slave One – Omega Disciples (Dolorem Records)

Thursday, 30th January 2020
Rating: 8/10

It’s been three years since Slave One’s EP An Abstract and Metaphysical Approach to Deceit, and four since their first full-length. In today’s modern death metal landscape and shortening attention span society, that’s a long time to go without new material. But ultimately patience prevails, and Slave One’s sophomore release, Omega Disciples, is just as fresh and pulverizing as one could hope for.

Slave One has always managed to stand out on some of their sheer principles alone. While it’s easy to lay the ‘tech death’ tag on them for some wildly impressive passages throughout the material, they don’t sound like your generic tech death act. The production is down and dirty, not to the point where the music suffers because of it, but it’s the type of sound that augments the already inherent brutality. The band’s slurry of technical passages, murky atmosphere, almost Gotherburgian sense of melody, and unadulterated heaviness continues to be their forte, and it’s a very satisfying combination. There’s that wall of sound and ball-busters level of aggression to a track like “Carbon Mantra,” but even as the fury charges ahead, you can really listen into the intricacy of the notes and melodies. A few moments of eerie atmosphere lace more assaulting riffs and dizzying blasts, culminating in some jagged riffs and melodies that are as infectious as they are impressive. “Suffocating the Stars” also stands out with its ‘kick you in the pants’ ferocity and thundering grooves, but also for some brazen melodies that never feel out of place.

Omega Disciples has a strong sense of identity for such an extreme release. Granted, one could pick up on some of the influences of ‘the big guns’ of the genre, but Slave One continues to really make a more unique impression due to the way that they combine different influences together to create something that is both visceral and more intellectually engaging on subsequent listens. Enjoy it for the carnage, or for some dissection and digging further into it – either way, there’s a lot to offer.

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