Review Summary: What could've turned out as a cacophony ended up more like a dark symphony.
Chances are that you haven't heard Omniscient's music. Hell, chances are that you had no idea they even existed until now. Now that you know, you should check this demo out and here's why...
On Omniscient's debut, Ultima Destructo Infinitus
, they manage to combine elements of death, black, thrash, and classical metal with great results. From start to finish the demo flows smoothly like a symphony, and is ravaged with dark ambience and blast beats. To the ear, the concept of combining so many genres may sound like a cacophony waiting to happen, but when pulled off correctly, as it is here, it is a superb sound.
The vocals on UDI
are excellent. When the vocalist chooses to use his higher register, his voice sounds strong and rivals that of his more popular, signed counterparts. His growl is also strong, and undeniably clear. Almost every word being spewed from his mouth can be understood. Don't think that as a result of being so clear that he had to sacrifice some aggression, because that is far from the case. In fact he sounds angry and determined to convince you that his performance is genuine. If anything negative is to be said, it's that on "Dimension Art of Soul Hypocrisy", the closer on the demo, his vocals are a bit shaky. In all honesty, I can't tell if it's the production on the vocal track, or the vocals themselves, but they sound raspy and out of tune. Usually it wouldn't be that big of a deal, but when you only have 4 tracks, it's a noteworthy problem.
Andy Hargrave does an excellent job along with Trent McCall on the guitars. The riffs are intricate yet catchy, and when combined with the keyboards, make for a nice, interesting wall of sound. As opposed to relying on a single riff for the duration of the verse, or whatever part of the song they may be on, they throw in several different runs and riffs to break up any monotony. The combination of lead and rhythm playing is a nice addition; they will often break up a riff with a quick chromatic run, making for a excellent balance of the two. Their transitions are smooth, and when they lock up with the drums, the sound is thick and crunchy, and the thrash influence really shines through.
As stated several times already, they make excellent use of keyboards. Leslie Hargrave creates everything from ambient back rounds to counter melodies for the guitars ands vocals. They are fairly prominent in the mix as well, but manage to avoid being overpowering. On the demo opener, "Witnessing Atrocity", she creates a piano piece that is as beautiful as it is sad and depressing. In doing so, she manages to set up the sonic explosion that is about to take place very well. Unfortunately, if she is not playing a melodic solo or melody, she's not really doing anything special. For the most part she just follows the guitars, but in the brief instances when she does break away and do her own thing, it sounds great.
Brother to Andy, and drummer for Omniscient, Sean Hargrave does an excellent job behind his kit. He can be heard blasting away for a majority of Ultima Destructo Infinitus
, but it fits the mood and need of the music, so it avoids becoming repetitive. His speed and endurance are more than up to par, and can be downright amazing. "The Mastermind Helix" is more or less a stomping ground for him, and for three and a half minutes he shows off how fast his feet are, all while throwing in creative fills and runs.
Chris Boston, bassist for Omniscient can be heard throughout bits and pieces of the album. When he can be heard, his bass work is rather impressive, as he is able to keep up with the guitars accurately. However, the fact that he can't be heard throughout each one of UDI
's four tracks is a shame.
In short, Omniscient's debut into the metal world, Ultima Destructo Infinitus
is very mature for a first demo. All of the instruments (the bass?) are extremely well arranged and executed, and the vocals are great. I'd recommend that any fan of death, black, thrash, or classical metal pick this up, it’s only four tracks and it's pretty inexpensive.