Artist: Gamma Sector
Album: Nex Omne
We have this notion that, at the end of all things, there will be nothing but silence. With all mankind obliterated; earth swallowed in a conflict that makes itself the epicenter of a Galactic onslaught, the result is a bone-chilling, harrowing nothingness. No chattering celebrities, no overdone pop songs playing on your teenage sister’s radio, Hell, no teenage sister at all. There is nothing left—nothing left but a silence that stretches for miles upon miles, expanding for entire light years through football field after football field of cosmic dust.
At least that’s how we imagine it.
The truth is that the end of existence is far from quiet; if anything, it’s deafening. It is the sound of billions of lifeforms trapped facing inevitable doom; endless, ceaseless, merciless death. It is the sound of all deaths happening eternally. It is Nex Omne, the cataclysmic, world-ending, genre-defying release by ultra-heavyweights Gamma Sector. Taking a sporadic and immense array of influences from across the heavy music spectrum and mashing them into one incredible display of depravity, Nex Omne is over an hour of brutality that miraculously avoids monotony and boredom both, bringing nothing but pure aggression straight to the listener’s dome and not stopping until there’s nothing left
2017 might be one of the heaviest years deathcore and extreme sub genres of metal have seen in a long time—as there has been absolutely no shortage of artists releasing unstoppable releases and examples of brazen, raw and relentless brutality. Amid all of them, Gamma Sector may just take the cake, as Nex Omne is a world-ending release, both in concept in and practice. Throughout its entire sixty-plus minute duration, Nex Omne gives mere seconds of rest, instead whaling on the listener with track after track of slam-tinted, terrorizing and tremendous deathcore. At the core is percussionist Denis Tuohy, whose ability to oscillate between mile-per-minute machine gun blast beats on “Inexorable Enslavement” to skin-peeling, organ-melting and obliterating slams on “Lucid” or “Exterminate” is nothing short of breathtaking. Tuohy is terrifyingly talented, technically impressive and hellishly fast, easily earning his stripes as one of the underground’s most noteworthy new drummers (as Gamma Sector are a fairly new band). Tuohy, try as he might on quick and pummeling anthems like “War Of the Worlds” or “Dreamland,” is never alone—as bassist Gavyn Clark is always there to add both heft to his kick drum and a sharp, snappy contrast to his snare. Clark also works beneath the band’s gutwrenching guitar work, giving a beastly, bold low end to the lacerating licks from Derek Dougherty and Jarrod Foushee, who’s guitars—especially on “Dreamland” and “The Last Moonrise”—are vicious and quick, adding technicality in between spine-snapping slams and brain-busting breakdowns. With Clark aiding transitions into and out of the chuggy and straightforward parts of Nex Omne, and Dougherty working with Foushee to both riff and shred away as atmospheric, elegant and eerie programming lingers in the background (much in part to Doughtery’s additional role in production), Gamma Sector establish themselves quickly as more than another new slam band, which, lets be real, no one needs. Instead, Gamma Sector blend elements from across the heavy music sonisphere to utilize elements of everything from traditional deathcore, brutal death metal, tech death and black metal to bewilder the listener with epic, ceaseless brutality.
With over an hour of music, one might expect a series of interludes—instrumental filler, so to speak—to space out the tales of galactic warfare and mankind’s annihilation that Nex Omne boasts. It’s certainly fair to expect, however it isn’t the case. Gamma Sector utilize only one true interlude on Nex Omne, and it is far from filler; for the remainder, frontman Daniel Burris is left to his devices, utilizing the impressive instrumentation that defines Nex Omne as a backdrop for his vocal brilliance. In short, Burris is simply absurdly talented in every way. His range covers what many bands would need countless features to achieve, and his stamina is jaw-dropping, bringing fresh patterns, candor and energy to just about every song on Nex Omne. The album even sees Burris working with the likes of Dan Watson, Duncan Bentley and Ben Duerr, and, dare I say, it can be hard to tell where one starts and the other ends. Songs like “Lucid,” or the sprawling “Exterminate” see Burris at his finest, but truthfully, any song is a more-than-adequate example of his skill. Burris’ shrill screams, unfathomable low gutturals and all manner of styles in between keep the listener hooked, and are but one of many reasons that the listener doesn’t get bored and give up half-way through.
Nex Omne tells a monstrous, epic tale through Burris’ vocal cords and the immense instrumental efforts of Tuohy, Clark, Dougherty and Foushee—and it does so in a fashion as close to perfect as anyone can fathom. Laden with technically tight and proficient moments just as it boasts brutality that practically defies description or definition, this release is proof that even as the year winds to a close, 2017 isn’t done cranking out the hits. Joining the lofty ranks of Lorna Shore, Martyr Defiled, Oceano and Signs of the Swarm when it comes to penning some of the year’s greatest deathcore releases, Gamma Sector strike back after a decent debut plagued by hum-drum production and lack of tangible replay value to unleash Nex Omne, a unique, unremitting and unstoppable album of truly world-ending, species-slaying proportions.
For Fans Of: Signs Of the Swarm, Vulvodynia, Ingested, Rings Of Saturn, Infant Annihilator, Oceano, Lorna Shore
By: Connor Welsh