The realm of “Metalcore” has been rather polarized lately. It seems that bands are going flat out radio rock, or diving in the complete opposite direction and trying to be as inhumanly heavy as possible. While I personally enjoy both spectrums at any given time, I always get really giddy when I hear a band come through with songs that sit perfectly in the middle. Enter BAD OMENS, a Los Angeles quintet hell bent on putting out BANGERS. Their self-titled album (out now, Sumerian Records) is their first foray into the music world as a whole band.
This is a very diverse record from start to finish. Some songs are all heavy, one is a distraught and painful piano “ballad” laced with hints of an 80’s style guitar solo, and most of them have choruses that would give carefully constructed pop anthems a run for their money. It’s one of those albums that feels…Huge. The production just feels like it’s on a much bigger stage than most metal bands in the genre right now. Often times, when the main choral melody is bleated out by a singer, it’s usually harmonized and meticulously edited, but all the vocal work on the chorus sections of this record feel like they’re being shouted at you from inside the very room you’re listening in, like they were recorded in a stadium with all the reverb in the world and you just happen to be there.
A lot of people pay careful attention to a vocalist’s screaming ‘styles’ and whether or not they have, and I quote because I’ve seen this a million fucking times, “Sick lows and highs, breh.” but that doesn’t apply here. Noah Sebastian (Vocals) has pretty much one mode when it comes to screaming; shout like a motherfucker. On any other album, I would probably like to see some diversity, but here, his soft crooning sections, and huge belted out singing parts completely put any concerns I would have had about that to rest.
Not only are the vocal sections diverse and satisfying, but the overall musicality of this band is something to be respected. They don’t seem to be afraid to take chances and hit the metal genre from every side. Breakdowns that make you want to move and jump, cinematic background ambiance, industrial sampled rhythmic sections; these guys fucking do it all.
Now, I don’t say what I’m about to say lightly… If these fellas keep at it, and write an even better record than this one, combined with the same audio production effort they went through this time (SHOUTS OUT TO WILL PUTNEY ((Producer))) this band could be the next BREAKING BENJAMIN.. I don’t mean that in a copycat way, as I’m sure they would rather be the first BAD OMENS. All I mean is, with what they put into their songwriting, they could last for years, and have several hit records with each one being a body of work that I’m excited to listen to every track on. That’s something I truly love. A band that can give me a fucking record to digest and keep coming back to for more.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM