A mysterious new order known as the Astral Blood Syndicate has formed within the depths of the underground, and this global alliance of bands is devoted to channeling new energy into the raw black metal sound. One associated act has just unleashed their debut effort titled 333, which grimly introduces ORDER OF OMEGA as they conjure a new interpretation of the void. Malevolent forces crawl from the chaos of its relentless cacophony while ambient sections promote further madness, and these elements create an oppressive atmosphere that personifies death along with the infinite nothing beyond. ORDER OF OMEGA formulates their own expression of the universe through this initiatory work, and 333 carries the sign beckoning toward its boundless expanse.
Transformation begins as disembodied choral doom coalesces with a deep rumble from the void on “LVX,” and this aura spirals through nonphysical planes of despair while thunder and distant tormented screams signal an “Ascending to Eternity.” An oppressive wall of distortion launches with blasting force, and fleeting mutations are glimpsed within this upheaval, along with hypnotic fluctuations that form during a mid-paced shift. Sinister vocals emerge when the tempo drops further to reveal malignant arpeggiations buried in the murk, and the riffing holds a demented tone once turmoil resumes with pounding intent. It breaks again for a dark psychedelic effect that creeps through the droning heaviness, and vocals reflect this derangement before the pace surges with intervallic riffs. A slow groove develops as these alternating rhythms continue, and its malevolence progresses alongside tremolo bursts toward a descent into crushing ruin. Intricate drum patterns complicate this doom until the rhythmic flow returns, and its tremolo mass reaches a heavy looming intensity compounded by guttural vocals. Its power implodes for a brief silence, followed by disturbed progressions that lead to other shadowy passages, and these grim melodic structures persist between bouts of fury as they advance toward resounding destruction.
Dismal tremolo melodies converge in dissonance on “Deconstruction of a cycle,” and their entrancement breaks for the writhing gloom that emerges with a slow rhythm and deep prolonged growls. A raging onslaught ensues with blast beats once those tremolos reconfigure into warped riffs, and chilling arpeggiations develop as they proceed toward a mass of pulsating distortion. These alternating structures expand with percussive and tremolo variants before shifting to a slow groove, which spawns an imposing and heavy dissonant combination of speed with crushing emphasis, and its severity culminates in a vengeful display of haunting arpeggiated malice. This plunges into intervallic desolation, and the riffing continues with progressions of a newfound resolve, along with other surfacing rhythmic anomalies to further convey an imminent end. Frenzied chaos takes hold abruptly and leads to the emptiness of clean tremolo picking, echoed strums, and other string manipulations. The pulse reappears with spectral voices, and a solemn procession recommences until succumbing to annihilation. The aftermath is portrayed during the ultimate consummation on “VOID,” with ambiance that acts as a final submersion into the blackened abyss.
Many connections are possible when reflecting on the number 333, which to some represents spiritual awakening and a reassurance of treading the proper path. Three letters comprise “LVX,” a Latin word signifying light, and also, among other things, the three cyclical phases of life, death, and rebirth. It has also been tied to “The Law of Threes,” and could then be related to the number 3 appearing threefold to form the title. 333 is also half of that other infamous number, but this is all speculation and the actual intended concept behind the title remains uncertain. The lyrics provide some clues, however, with the focus of “Ascending to Eternity” being a personification of the infinite and embracing death. The consciousness within is depicted as eternal and omniscient through various allusions while enticing toward a union with the universe, and this theme develops further on “Deconstruction of a Cycle” as an end leads to a new beginning. The embrace of death continues while calling forth Ae and the ancient ones, and bleak landscapes are shown along with revelations that “the end is nothing but the void … nothing else but emptiness and darkness … and infinite and absolute silence.” Individual life is deemed “insignificant” once it becomes that “Now you’re part of everything, so you’re everywhere,” and it ends with the finality of “traveling through the universe till the end of times.” Perhaps some of the above symbolism is involved in the actual concept, but it’s viewed from a mostly grim perspective matched by the music.
The underground continues to thrive as ORDER OF OMEGA appears with a dismal representation of death and the void on 333. Its structure alone, with two abysmal ambient pieces that enclose a main body of two massive hymns, is devised to simulate the experience of being immersed in, and also consumed by, this void. Numerous ventures are required to uncover the vast dissonant layers embedded in the chaotic songcraft, which effectively captures the obscure essence of the universe along with other haunting and gloomy impressions. These orchestrations are unforgiving, but those drawn toward the dark allure of 333 will become further intrigued by ORDER OF OMEGA, the elusive Astral Blood Syndicate, and the next conjurations they intend to cast from the shadows.