Review Summary: These Finnish wasteheads are back at it with another slab of thrashy groove goodness that ultimately still doesn’t capitalize on their full potential
Profane Omen, why must you torture me so? Is it really that hard to just pump out 11 "Disconnected"s or "Base"es? God damn. For those of you who do not know, Profane Omen have teased me for over five years now since their debut Beaten Into Submission
came out. On every one of their records they've had some brilliant thrashy-groove-death-n-roll-cluster*** cuts that make me pump my fist in glorious euphoria, yet they outright refuse to write a full album compiled of only those earpleasers. No, they feel the need to revert back to sounding like a good but nothing more kind of a groove metal/death 'n' roll band every now and again. This is also why I’m so pissed right now, because on Destroy!
, they’ve come closer than ever to realizing their full potential (so damn close!), yet some weaker tracks in the middle of the pack deny them that chance, meaning the legacy continues.
The album kicks into gear in fantastic fashion, as "A Force To Be Reckoned With" is a high energy, in-your-face opener that mixes speedy southern metal with NWOBHM elements to create what sounds like an ’80s heavy metal band on steroids. It is followed by "Wastehead" and "Predator", the first being a solid contender for party metal song of the year with its super catchy chorus and infectious verse grooves, while the latter, already a live-setting crowd pleaser, shows Profane Omen’s more aggressive side, as vocalist Jules Näveri shouts and screams extra ferociously throughout the track, even slipping into a truly schizophrenic screaming session near the end of it. It’s then though, when Profane Omen slip into their comfort zone. "Feed On The Wasted", "Escape/Traceless" and "Bad Dreams" are all good metal songs in their own right, but none of them feature that x-factor we’re all hoping for in a song, that little something something to make a certain cut stick in your head for times to come and raise it above all similar bands/songs. When listening to Destroy!
in full setting, these track don't interrupt the flow, sound good and carry forward the general theme of the album; the problem is, none of them make you want to push the replay button like "Predator" or "Wastehead" do. The three tracks that conclude this rather short album raise the bar once more, as "Acedia" is the best ballad-type song the band has ever done, "Bound To Strive" mixes aggressive verses with a lighter, "don't give a ***, none can hold me down" chorus expertly and "Zombie Riders" features a very well thought-out build-up that makes, what is a rather straightforward, ride-it-out groove metal affair, sound very compelling in the long run. Thanks to the middle section though, I cannot hail Destroy!
as a groove metal/death ’n’ roll staple. Is it good? Yes, very, but dammit, these guys can do even better if they cut the crap and reformulate the fat.
Going back to the positives though, Profane Omen have developed their own special brand of metal during the years which, like said, they play nearly to the fullest extent on Destroy!
. The band likes to call its style death 'n' roll, but that doesn't truly represent their sound as a whole because the band members have a great ear for melody and groove, both of which they are not shy at all to use; they also have an appreciation for classic heavy metal, which shines through in some of their tracks. This means that Profane Omen are always able to keep things fresh and rolling, and even if they aren’t as crude as your standard death ’n’ roll band, they are more interesting when it comes to replay value and dynamics in general. It is near impossible to classify them under a certain genre, but overgeneralisation is useless anyway, so I suggest you act like we Estonians do and the next time Profane Omen decides to rock your hometown, call them hybrid metal on the adds and be done with it.
At least no one can deny that Profane Omen deliver on their slogan: Hit not where the fence is lowest, but where it hurts the most. Indeed, they did not hit me where the fence is lowest and give me a solid kick in the nads with an abomination of an album, instead they roundhoused me to oblivion with an album that just falls short of being the record I have always wanted them to make. It is good, it is so very very good, yet I, and hopefully themselves too know that they can do even better. For the time being Destroy!
will have to do, but it better not be their last shot at glory.