We’re always keen to support the “grass roots” on this website, and DeathOmen are very much an example of this. Above Holy Ground was self-released in December 2020, and features a variety of sounds and influences though mainly on the heavier end of the scale (death, thrash and just good old heavy metals).
The piece of advice I was given by guitarist/bassist Miha was to “listen to the album from start to finish all at once, without skipping.” So this is what I did. Some of the tracks do flow from one into the other (like opener “Procreator” into the superb “Grave Gravity”) but there is a definite “shape” to the album which benefits from a full playthrough rather than dipping in.
While this is a very eclectic mix, there were little bits popping through that sounded vaguely familiar and definitely show possible influences. “Rise of the DeathOmen” has a little background riff that evokes Maiden’s classic “Flash of the Blade”, and the opening blasts of “Reac-TOR-ment” are reminiscent of the beginning of Slayer’s “Born of Fire”. This all fits DeathOmen’s pattern, though, as they don’t sit in one genre – they pull from many.
The album as a whole is heavy and downbeat, the message throughout definitely not being a cheerful one. This isn’t music to party to, but it’s certainly music to listen to. While rough around the edges, it actually benefits from being a little underproduced as it makes things seem more visceral.
Definitely worth checking out if you like the more dystopian metal sounds.