Instrumental albums and artists used to really bug me, I can’t quite put my finger on why they just did. Perhaps it was the fact that I didn’t have much time or care for more progressive sounds, or maybe it was because I felt as if it was lacking something. Whatever the case may be I have since grown up shall we say and now fully embrace a whole range of genres that are often pretty firmly rooted in the instrumental field. Give me anything from Classical to Post-Rock, to Ambient, Vaporwave and beyond I’ll give most things a go nowadays so bring it on.
Birthed from the mind of the Dutch musician Franck Johanson of Distillator fame comes Omgeving. This Experimental instrumental project is far removed from the musicians more Thrash based roots in Distillator. In fact this is pretty much the polar opposite when it comes to Metal, moving from the speed of Thrash to the winding soundscapes of Post-Black and Doom Metal. Wijde Wijdte is the artists debut but how does it play out, is it an immersive journey of self discovery or merely a self-indulgent abyss?
I think to look upon this album track by track would be the wrong approach, the album is a journey and should be treated as such, when creating this sort of release one must consider the full album approach and play things out accordingly. From the beginning there is a definite sense of Prog, mixed with a pretty heavy Post-Black Metal influence and also perhaps even some notions of Drone and Atmospheric Black Metal. This album is all about conjuring up images and building an ethereal totem of enveloping darkness. It certainly achieves the big sounds in which it promises, in fact the riffs found in Daar Waar De Tijd Smelt and Eenzaamheid In Extase are almost become hypnotic at points.
Yet is that enough to keep things interesting? Whilst I don’t dislike this album is really does have that background music vibe about it, it’s almost crying out for some big Funeral Doom vocals or something extra. Don’t get me wrong I am often all for background music, sometimes it’s just what you need and as far as background music goes this is pretty high up the pecking order when it comes to quality. All that said as a sort of immersive listen the album can become pretty laborious, I feel for a debut this certainly shows some strengths but overall it becomes tiresome quickly.
I think in some strange way Wijde Wijdte takes me back to the thought process of why I never used to enjoy instrumental music, it’s that sense of something lacking. This album could be improved ten-fold with the addition of some nasty vocals but instead it ambles along creating very listenable and interesting soundscapes that are so close to hitting the mark of perfection but are left to rot as a silent scream hides behind their walls. That said perhaps that sense of longing is merely my own personal emotional evocation from this release, I long for that scream but it never comes an album that stirs up images of entrapment and imprisonment.
(6/10 George Caley)