Omega Lithium - _Dreams in Formaline_
(Drakkar, 2009)
by: Charlotte Beskeen (7 out of 10)
_Dreams in Formaline_ is the debut of Croatian industrial gothic quartet Omega Lithium. It is an ambitious and well crafted album, considering that the domain of female fronted bands appears to be overpopulated by various listless, watered down Sirenias and Xandrias. Needless to say, there are no illusionary, coquettish gothic beauties flittering through high breathy solos here, but a dark, compelling vein of discordance which is offset by lyrical themes of misanthropy and despair. Technically this is sound; riff passages chug along like a well oiled train and fortunately stay well away from temptingly generic, bouncy Rammstein riff patterns.

It is refreshing to hear that male and female vocals do not slip into the monotonous pattern of question and answer type dialogue. Female vocals tend to dominate here, and despite not being on the operatic scale, they are evocative enough to sucessfully channel the album's message. In songs like "My Haunted Self" and "Factor: Misery" they add a touch of hopeless desperation whilst rasping male vocals lurch under splicing bass guitar.

The album remains a consistent listen throughout, although the only slight blip in quality is probably "Andromeda", which suffers badly from stagey, undeniably Lordi-esque riff patterns and a few weakly contrived choruses which sadly bring the whole song to a grinding halt. "Infest" is majestic in comparison; a hook ridden, groove laden number with plenty of melancholic yet uplifting choruses. Taken as a whole, this sounds like a robotic, distorted Razorbliss patched with the elaborate, sparse melodies of late Tristania and painted over with the dark ambience of Theatre of Tragedy. Epic this isn't, but this'll slime its devious way to the metal spotlight very soon indeed.


(article published 3/9/2009)

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