Omnio is the second full-length album by Norwegian band In the Woods.... It was released on October 14, 1997, through Misanthropy Records.
Following their blast of black metal-inspired Heart of the Ages, In the Woods came up with this devastatingly beautiful marriage of progressive metal, gothic texture, epic scope, and amazingly intricate, deeply moving songwriting for a tour de force that stands as one of European metal's classic recordings. Leaving the screaming vocals to the ashes of black metal's first wave, Omnio instead concentrates on creating long (there are only five tracks here), gorgeously woven narratives with emotions such as grief, sorrow, reverence, mysticism, paganism, and Norse lore. With slowly unfolding schemata, In the Woods manages to accomplish the darker side of what Marillion did in the early days: creating mood, atmosphere, and drama with stunningly clear male and female vocals, wailing guitars, and a string quartet just atop the drum kit. Featuring once and future members of Emperor, Carpathian Forest, and Green Carnation, the band's shape-shifting tunes sound, at times, like pure poetry colored by the beautiful brutality of heavy rock and metal. Singing tunes out of this cycle for review is pointless since Omnio is all of a piece, one that is deeply affecting, and full of spaces and mystery. One complete listen is enough to leave one literally speechless, exhausted, and fully of awe and delight. Omnio is a classic of the genre and has remained deeply influential since its initial release in 1997. Candlelight's sonic template on the reissue is nothing short of gorgeous, and its package is nearly identical to the original Misanthropy release – in fact, it may be nicer – and includes complete lyrics and graphics.
The titles of the three tracks "Omnio? - Pre", "Omnio? - Bardo", and "Omnio? - Post" are related. Pre is a prefix used to say "before", Bardo is a Tibetan word for "intermediate state", and Post is a prefix meaning "after".
At around 6:00 of "Omnio? - Pre", female voices can be heard singing in French. The lyrics of this portion of the song are not listed in the album, however the word "j'espère que tous les autres" (meaning "I hope that everyone else") can be heard multiple times. The following three syllables are hard to understand.
In the booklet lyrics of "Weeping Willow", all the text is in lower case except for a bunch of letters. The content (if any) of this cryptographic message is still unknown. The band mentioned on their site, while it was still active around 1999-2000, that the letters in upper case revealed the person whom the song is dedicated to, written in reverse order, thus the person name should be Jennca.
Artwork By – Juha Vourma, Terje Sagen, Stephen O'Malley and In The Woods…
Cello – Nedim Praso (tracks: 1, 5 to 7)
Performer – A. Kobro, Bjorn H., C:M Botteri, Oddvar A:M, Jan-Ovl. S-TranceTH, Synne D., X-Botteri
Recorded By, Mixed By, Producer – Hans Eidskard, In The Woods…
Songwriter, Arranged By – In The Woods…
Strings – Dust Quartet, The (tracks: 1, 5 to 7)
Viola – Kjell Age Stoveland (tracks: 1, 5 to 7)
Violin – Pär Arne Hedman (tracks: 1, 5 to 7), Silje Ulvevadet Dæhli (tracks: 1, 5 to 7)
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