Bad Omens – Bad Omens (Album Review)

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With the plethora of Heavy music bands out there today, what distinguishes one from the other? That is a tough question when the participating bands often camouflage one another with similar styles, sounds, and imagery. That being said, set out to make an impact, Bad Omens is a startlingly impressive band that may change some people’s view of the Metalcore genre. Led by Vocalist Noah Sebastian, who started the band back in 2013 down in  Richmond, Virginia, he is joined by friends Nicolas Ryan on guitar and Vincent Riquier also on guitar, which introduced him to Joakin “Jolly” Karlsson on bass, and finally, they added Nick Folio on drums after seeing him play a drum cover online. Now based out of Los Angeles, California, they signed on with Sumerian Records in 2015. Recording an EP as an earlier effort to get the attention of many listeners and the label, Bad Omens have already established an eager fanbase. So much so, that self-titled debut album should be a perfect antidote for those looking for Heavy music that is not so typical.

Released on August 19th, the twelve track album is a mix of alluring, memorable riffs, melodies, and catchy lyrics. Opening with “Glass House,” they match aggressive Metalcore with a much more ambient backdrop than their contemporaries, leading the audience into a not so typical album as well-written lyrics such as “I see through you, I know what you are, I’ve seen the devil more than I’ve seen God” dangle in the wind. Following with the catchy “Exit Wounds” and darkly melodic “The Worst In Me,” Sebastian shows an array of vocal approaches ranging from harsh growls, to softly spoken, to more emotionally driven notes. Showing their diversity, there is the Industrial, Electronica leaning “FERAL,” ala Nine Inch Nails style. With sorrowful piano, “Enough, Enough Now” is filled with anguish which grabs the audience and drags them deep into the nightmarish story Sebastian’s voice illustrates.

Painted with an array of different sounds, this record has it all, from the almost Death Metal sounding “Malice,” to ballad’s like “Crawl.” Interwoven in the up and down emotional roller coaster are other riveting tracks such as “Broken Youth;” an anthem for a generation who feel misplaced, without purpose, and without direction. Then, with a more symphonic vibe, “The Letdown” evokes more feelings of despair as Sebastian’s voice shows similarity to Chester Bennington of Linkin Park in the powerful chorus as he sings, “I can’t watch you drown with me.”

The feeling of tension and anxiety are fuller exemplified on “Reprise (The Sound of the End),” where Sebastian’s words are not only telling, but haunting as he speaks of inner struggles and finding hopes for a brighter tomorrow. Finally, concluding it all, “The Fountain” begins with enjoyable Tribal sounds in the form of an opening drums and flute. Possessing the feel of a track one could imagine hearing within an inlay of an epic, Tragedy movie soundtrack, it is simply breathtaking.

The vocals of Noah Sebastian are not A-typical Metalcore screams. They are strong and change up throughout the album, but most of all are adhered by very creative and well-formulated lyrics. The style he uses is not forced and meshes seamlessly with the theme of each song, making them sound that much more sincere. These are songs which many can scream along with and inevitably relate with in one way or another. That being said, Bad Omens are the evolution of Heavy music and well-worth checking out. CrypticRock gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.


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