Dark ambient at its cinematic finest.
‘Omega Point’ is an instrumental dark ambient album that is inspired by the format of a sci-fi movie soundtrack. Sébastien Guérive is a composer who plays with textures of sounds and the beauty of ‘Omega Point’ comes from this idea of dark and light atmospheres. Anyone who has enjoyed a big blockbuster sci-fi soundtrack will feel right at home.
Sébastien Guérive has created most of the album around analogue synths that have then been digitally processed. This means that it is like an acoustic instrument that has been charged and electrified. The reason why I point this process out is that the main thrusting melodic synth is often a gurgling hot mess. It blazes, roars, waxes and wanes and then ramps up its bassy grizzle like a space rocket. Time and time again this synth brings a varied expression to the music and Sébastien Guérive really knows how to work it.
This means if you have tense pulsating sirens and bleeps such as in opener ‘Omega II’, you have a throbbing cinematic pulse taking a hold of you. As the synths morph and cripple under the weight of the noise, notes get destroyed and bit-crushed in a very sci-fi manner. ‘Nashira’ bolsters this with a lot of pitch bending and warbling between notes that feels alien and wiry. ‘Omega VIII’ plays with all these ideas and adds cinematic trailer booms to it for maximum dramatic effect. ‘Adhara’ could equally be a retrowave anthem as much as a sci-fi one. It has some fantastic detuned arpeggios and a very dense tone to it. ‘Zaurak’ on the other hand deals with tuneful white noise. The way the track constantly turns up the volume and intensity of its white noise destruction is intense and blood pumping.
For all these big and bold moments of darkness or obscure malice, Sébastien Guérive also includes plenty of moments of lighter clarity. Nothing ever feels like it’s truly an ‘et viola’ moment but I think that’s the point. Closer ‘Omega V’ has a beautiful piano addition to its synth streams and modulations that feels ominous and curious. ‘Menkalinan’ and ‘Michir’ work together to bring in the melodic twinkle of distant stars, radio frequencies and far away voices. They feel cathartic and beautiful in their slow-motion beauty. The single ‘Bellatrix’ is also beautifully poised as the bridge between the dark and light sides of the album too. Using some beautiful piano, rain sounds and cinematic dark ambient synths, it showcases everything ‘Omega Point’ has to offer whilst not sounding like it’s taken from any of the other tracks. The piece has a more modern-classical edge to it but fits perfectly onto the album.
Sébastien Guérive has created a stunning cinematic album. It doesn’t need a movie to go with it. The music tells a story all of its own. Engrossing, immersive, climactic and emotive, ‘Omega Point’ is a stunning ride from beginning to end. It is easily one of my favourite dark ambient albums of the last decade. Highly recommended.
Recommended track: Omega II
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