Allochiria - _Omonoia_
(Independent, 2014)
by: Dan Lake (6 out of 10)
Back when Isis were all the shit and Neurosis loomed ominously in the wings, I used to wonder why there should be any fuss at all about Cult of Luna or their ilk, who clearly rested a tier below such aforementioned luminaries. Now that Isis have shuffled apart and Cult of Luna have released their recent masterpiece _Vertikal_ before quietly disintegrating, and Neurosis still loom ominously in the wings (long may they loom), it's unclear as to why there should be any fuss over bands like Allochiria. The Greek quintet have taken up the post-metal palette and have chosen to paint careful studies of the great works that came before them.

Allochiria waste no time delaying your gratification -- all in fine post-metal form. The brief computerized voiceover describing humanity's inhumane fate plays out amid progressive percussion and soft, simmering guitar lines played like bubbles of suggestive grace notes. The tone slowly ratchets up toward menacing, with distortion moving deftly forward from the rear of the mix. Six minutes stream by before the band drops into undeniable heaviness and reminds you (or themselves?) that you signed up for metal, not Mogwai. Repetitive chords, trance-inducing chug and dissatisfied growls do a fine job referencing Allochiria's favorite composition-minded post-hardcore heroes. All these structures may, indeed, express the band members' motives and movements precisely, but they rarely feel unique enough to warrant the attention of ears worldwide.

Let's not kid ourselves, though: _Omonoia_ sounds pretty amazing, because it was constructed exceptionally well. The militant "Oppression" yanks a snippet of Carl Sandburg's "The People" before using deliberate, clobbering guitars and the complicit drum set to usher listeners into rough file toward the slaughter chute. "Archetypal Attraction" meanders through an elaborately decorated sonic space, full of ghostly voices, string scrapes and electronic groaning before exploding into a fiery exploration of the cosmos. Ted's bass work pins the metal sections of all these songs to the sludgy floor. Should you hear this? Let's rephrase the question: could you ever get tired of heavy music that's melted down and blown into delicately swirled stained glass? If not, Allochiria's for you. If you've already got CoL's _Salvation_ or Isis's _In the Absence of Truth_, though, then you probably don't need _Omonoia_.


(article published 28/4/2014)

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