The Omega Syndicate / Apocalypse

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The Omega Syndicate / Apocalypse

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This is the third ‘proper’ album by the band and sees the introduction of a new member, Rob Clynes. He is a most wonderful guitarist, never twee but just knowing when to provide support work and when, very occasionally, to let rip. It is a CD which sees them mature still further into one of the best UK Electronic Music groups around. It is most certainly their best work to date. The coolest of cosmic sounds get the title track underway. This is really moody stuff. Three minutes in and a stunning (and I mean stunning!) melodic sequence strikes up along with some menacing cosmic guitar playing which adds that extra bite without dominating too much. There is the feel of pent up power about to explode. ‘The Lycanthropic Principle’ cranks the sequences up immediately. A wonderful bass laden one erupts from the speakers accompanied by sympathetic rhythms and excellent tuneful pads. Extra bite is added in the form of superb guitar riffs nestling in the middle of the mix. Then to make this exquisite combination still better in comes the most stunning lead line duelling with the guitar. Some say that guitars can sometimes spoil EM but surely that can’t be said of this, it just works so well. If Tangerine Dream had come up with a track like this in the last 20 years people would be in ecstatic bliss. It really is something special. ‘Pixie’s Playground’ might not be my favourite title on the album but musically it’s another winner. Shimmering metallic drones mix with sonic tinklings, a heavenly flutey synth line floating above it all. A bouncy melodic loop adds a little extra movement which is soon stepped up a gear as another wonderful bass sequence rolls into formation. ‘The Global Extinction of the Wireless’ begins rather moodily with a melancholy melody just hanging in the air above delicate fizzing drones. A rapid tinkling sequence cuts through the calmness. A second joins it along with restrained guitar licks. Yet another sequence is chucked into the brew and we are now storming along in almost ‘Force Majeure’ fashion. Things continue to gain added oomph, the guitar taking the main melodic duties but keeping fairly restrained, letting the sequences provide the powerful salvos. ‘Masque’ starts like there is a UFO coming down to land then yet another awesome sequence rolls forward with steam hissing from its vapour trail. What we have here is of classic Arc proportions. The lead lines, one after another, are all brilliant and could have come straight from Ian Boddy as Mark wielded the mighty modular. Yes, the track’s that good! Their first album was good, fuelled by pure joy of what they were doing. The second album refined their style somewhat but what we have here is really something special. I have played it many times already and especially the second and last tracks would be on any best of compilation I would currently make, even if I just has one eighty minute CD to put my current favourites on. Mention should also be made for the artwork which is an original work by Gary Ocean portraying a half destroyed National Space Centre! An all round wonderful package. (DL) ;\ ‘\’