Review / Omination – The Pale Horseman

The world is a hard place to deal with right now. The Covid-19 pandemic is a worldwide crisis that is unprecedented in our times and there are unfortunately no guidelines for how to deal with a world that has suddenly gone into lockdown. In times like this a great many people turn to art, writing or music as a way of finding an expression for their fears and emotions. On his latest release, ‘The Pale Horseman’, Tunisian musician Omination (AKA Fedor Kovalevsky) has used Covid-19 as an inspiration for exploring the dread and sense of anxiety we’re all feeling. 

Comprised of one 26-minute track, The Pale Horseman (a reference to the spectre of Death as the fourth horseman of the apocalypse) is a sonic expression of fear and uncertainty built up of changing textures. Sonically the music is a rich tapestry, with the lumbering funeral doom riffs sporadically giving way to lightening-fast death metal or orchestral ambient sections with little warning. It’s not just the musical style that’s eclectic, Kovalevsky likes to splice up the lyrics and vocal styles in such a way as to put the listener on edge, one-minute utilising a typical death metal growl in English and the next singing in Tunisian using a rich baritone.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time Omination has embraced end time themes, the musician’s 2018 debut album was entitled Follows Of The Apocalypse after all. But on this EP it feels more urgent, inspired not by the book of revelations as his previous work has been, but by what’s going outside all of our front doors.

The Pale Horseman is out now on Hypnotic Dirge Records. Order here.

Words: Dan Cadwallader