Quasi-hydrostatic high-pressure equations of state (EOS) are typically determined, for crystalline solids, by measuring unit-cell volumes using x-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques. However, when characterizing low-symmetry materials with large unit cells, conventional XRD approaches may become problematic. To overcome this issue, we examined the utility of a "direct" approach toward determining high pressure material volume by measuring surface area and sample thickness using optical microscopy and interferometry (OMI), respectively. We have validated this experimental approach by comparing results obtained for 2,4,6-triamino-1,3,5-trinitrobenzene TATB with an EOS determined from synchrotron XRD measurements; and, a good match is observed. We have measured the high pressure EOS of 5-nitro-2,4-dihydro-1,2,4,-triazol-3-one (α-NTO) up to 28 GPa. No high-pressure XRD EOS data have been published on α-NTO, probably due to its complex crystal structure. The results of this study suggest that OMI is a reliable and versatile alternative for determining EOSs, especially when conventional methodologies are impractical.