Metatron Omega is the core and original project of the man behind Paleowolf, which means that this reviewer comes to this album from the “wrong direction” in a sense. I heard, and reviewed, Paleowolf’s second album Genesis before ever encountering Metatron Omega. Upon hearing Illuminatio, it was immediately obvious why Mr. Scorpio V has chosen to separate his dark ambient output into two different projects. Whereas Paleowolf is sort of a one man text book example of label Cryo Chamber’s policy of “cinematic dark ambient” – vividly painting paleolithic pictures and summoning stone age barbarians in quest for fire – Metatron Omega is far more subdued and subtle.
The central sonic theme of Illuminatio is the juxtaposition of the ethereal and the concrete. This may sound pretentious and abstract, but is really just a roundabout way to express something I will now try to explain in an even more complicated fashion. The atmosphere brought forth by Metatron Omega on this album is of a very traditional dark ambient sort, even while it has its very own personality. It is droning, intangible and cloaked in shadows. Even so, the actual means to achieve this atmosphere is rather straight forward. There are distinct melodies, clear synthesizer notes and beautifully inserted choral and voice work hidden within to add an additional, somewhat sacred, quality. It may also be the case that much of this material is constructed from fewer layers than many other dark ambient tracks. The carefully selected synthesizer sounds and voices give the album a kind of tonal and structural clarity which contrasts brilliantly with the slow, fleeting and in some ways utterly obscure sound.
This comparatively concrete approach, in which slow attack times and amorphous drones form a part but are not the entire picture, is probably one reason why Illuminatio is so diverse. Each track has a distinct personality, shifting from the vague promises and broken dreams of the title track to the occult tribal rituals of “Mysteriis De Sanguine”. This is, or at least gives the impression of being, meticulously composed dark ambient. Each sound is where it is because it is supposed to be there. Whether this impression is the product of sweaty manipulations of each note, or because of a brilliant sense of combining improvisation with editing, I can’t know, and in the end it doesn’t matter. This is an awe inspiring piece of dark ambient. Unassuming but monumental, black but enlightening.
Illuminatio is released on September the 26th, and will be available on 6-panel digipak (with that sweet-ass Cryo Chamber artwork, of course) as well as digital download from Cryo Chamber.