Overmars - Born Again (Crucial Blast)

Born Again, by Overmars, is a sludge of heavy gloom and despair, power and brute force, with no pause, no divisions of song one, then song two: a single-track journey through a sublimely abysmal soundscape.

Overmars are an avant-garde group from France, a place where some of the most brilliant industrial, post-metal, experimental noise on this planet seems to evolve. Overmars are no exception. Born Again is their second full-length album, although they have released songs on five split-LPs. Previously released by Appease Me, a label overseen by fellow Frenchmen Blut Aus Nord, Born Again has now been released by Crucial Blast Records, allowing much wider distribution so the Overmars sound can be introduced to many more ears.

Born Again opens in a sludge of gloomy chords; slow and heavy.  A deep masculine voice enters as the sound grows and gloom echoes about you.  Another voice adds to the screaming: both male and female; their wails and moans entwine with a sound that surges onwards at a slothful pace.  The onslaught recedes through a long reverberation into music less forceful, tinged with desperation as the female voice rings out singing, screaming hopelessness.  The screaming increases in force and the music grows with it - into pounding, overpowering sound capturing inevitability and relentlessness. 

It is now the male voice that roars this indestructible force – if he is screaming words I cannot discern, his screams are layered amongst doomful guitar sounds, strings wailing a rhythm terrible and encompassing.  The sound only grows in power, cymbals clashing – and a beat emerges as the guitars recede that, for some moments, you are swept up in the percussion: a percussion becoming more industrious, evoking a feeling that you are about to take-off, to be launched into another atmosphere.  Distorted guitars take up a harmony, singing to the beat and the song grows stronger, the beat becoming part of it, becoming immersed, that the wave of sound takes on a new life, evolving further complexity.  The complexity swirls and cascades through a passage somehow containing both gloom and vibrancy. The male voice reappears and the song grows more powerful; the force is more driving and controlled than the earlier passage of powerful masculine voice and heavy doomscape. 

This new, encompassing rhythm grows in strength as the waves of wailing wrought from the strings builds, reaching ever-greater heights - to plunge to a deeper spectrum, low and reverberating.  Gradually, an undertone of swirling squealing is introduced as the song ascends, wave-like, yet losing none of its brute power.  The percussion gains force and this journey ends resoundingly vibrant, yet still fucking heavy.

Combining the male and female vocals of bassist Marion and visual media master Arno adds a sense of completeness to this representation of life. The heart of the auralsphere is created by guitarists Antoine and Pierrick and electronics effects and keyboard specialist Tiphaine, with the powerful percussion provided by Benjamin. 

Born Again, at almost forty-minutes long, is not likely to be a song you will hear played on any commercial radio station, or a track you are likely to add to your playlist for when you are out and about; this is a song you experience.  Another wondrous offering by Crucial Blast, it is of a similar stratosphere to SubArachnoid Space, Gnaw Their Tongues and Skullflower (also on this label).  Their music contains elements similar to Neurosis and Godflesh but with a sludgier, more psychedelic sound – doom akin to that produced by Isis and Monolithe but more adventurous.

A slurry of screaming, wailing guitars, rhythms powerfully pounding, pummeling effect-laden beats and vocals ranging from desperately despairing to raw screaming to guttural growling form a journey from gloomy hopelessness, falling into depths of brutality that ascends into a powerful force.  It is a song of rebirth. 

Overmars's Born Again is out now on Crucial Blast Records.