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Omerta // "Charade (feat. Vincente Void & Hash Gordon)"

Anointed by the Dalai Lama of nu metal himself, Mr. Ross Robinson, Houston's Omerta are one of the most promising acts to emerge from the genre's fourth wave resurgence. However, having only released two singles in the four years since their brief but lightning-blooded debut Hyperviolence, the whispers have begun to be heard wherever nu-heads gather--hushed, reverential, but increasingly insistent; "Where is Omerta?"

Today we have an answer. "Charade (feat. Vincente Void & Hash Gordon)", their first single in over a year, has landed, and, judging by the sound of it, the wait might've had something to do with the band's choice to load an entire wave's worth of ideas into one five-minute track.

Omerta has always hung out right where the tracks divide the wrong side of town that is nu metal from the weird side of town that is hyperpop--an increasingly vibrant musical nexus. But while hyperpop's twitchy tab-swiping is structured around funneling sugar hits into your speakers, what Omerta is doing on "Charade" is more akin to prog rock's modular, suite-based approach, where each part of a song is arranged to create a discreet emotional space that, when stacked together, builds something powerfully distinct from standard verse-chorus pop moves.

Call this "hyperprog". "Charade" has, by my count, at least seven distinct parts to it, only one of which is returned to as anything like a chorus--and only once at that. There's a glitchy synth panic attack with a boy band vocal; a sort of wah-ed out college-boy funk slide that evokes, to these ears, no one so much as the Spin Doctors; a speed-mumbled guest verse over pointillist free jazz; several flavours of paint-peeling nu metal bounce-out; a power electronics solo; and some deathcore at the end--all stage-managed by a sampled woman's voice stating her intention to disappear into her lonely fate. It's all boxes within boxes, but at the heart of it lies a glowing, blood-beating chorus that reminds us why we love this shit, and makes "Charade"'s complexity feel about something.

What's fascinating about this prog approach Omerta is taking to their hyperpop-flavoured nu metal is that it's taking a genre synonymous with today's most destroyed attention spans and employing it as component parts in an update of the genre most associated with big brain music nerdery this side of jazz. It's wild, head-spinning stuff, and stretches our understanding of what accessible heavy music can be, which is ultimately the most nu metal thing a song can do. If it points in the direction Omerta is headed, we're gonna need both our thinking caps and those X-shaped seatbelts Formula One drivers wear to survive the next record.