Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Fresh off their sophmore release, Fresh Hell, Houston's Omotai is poised to continue shredding ear holes and lacerating flesh for years to come.

Let's pause at Houston. I've only been to Houston twice, and, frankly, I hated it. I'm not a fan of Texas, humidity, or restaurants that reply with "there's no need" when I ask about vegetarian options. That said, Houston is also a funky place. It's like a damp Billings or Calagary in some respects. This is all anecdotal, but the bro-petro-testo-sphere never sat well with me. It's an oddly pretty city, though, with a circular skyline, riverwalk, general spaciness, and those pesky Astros. Admittedly, I carry some hefty baggage when I think about Houston, but Omotai stole our collective hearts when they played Total Fest in 2011.

Spend sometime on the interwebs, and you're bound to come across comparisons to Mastadon, Kylesa, etc., but it's short lived for me. The new album breaks away from the stoner-sludge and injects the metal with some hardcore and thrash elements that help twist their songs into something more tangential and twisted than a point-by-point movement through the compositions. There's so many elements mixed in that you can forget you're listening to the same record. Now that they're a four piece, Omotai find more ways to layer each song, mutating into spacey-prog-thrash-thunder-chunky-melodic metal that translates into serene, mouthwatering, bone rattling, addictive funtasticness.

The only live set I've seen of them was a dizzying mess of technical sorcery. It punches you at the right time, leads you when you need it most, and tramples you in a way only a loving stampede could. Stampede may not be fair. There's more deliberateness than blind ferocity; it's ambitious and raucous, and we're pleased as hell to have them back. Prepare to melt.

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