Review Summary: The Omega Experiment is a Prog/Experimental metal band hailing from Michigan. They are a DIY band, and have just released an incredible debut album
I, like the vast majority of music listeners, have a type. I have a habit of sticking to specific kinds of djent, with the occasional branch-out to post-metal and metalcore. And if it's not the type of music I like, I stop halfway through the song, and play something else. But every rule has exceptions. This for example.
The Omega Experiment certainly isn't my style, I have never been a fan of Devin Townsend or bands influenced by him. Yet when I first heard their Karma EP, I kind of liked it. A couple listens later and I was hooked. And then I heard this album and just from the first few guitar riffs, I could hear so much more confidence in their music and a much bigger emphasis on being their own unique band.
Those first few riffs are from "Gift", which is the definition of the perfect opening song. The energy is at it's peak and everyone is putting in their year's worth of effort. From it's beginning to it's piano finish, you can't go wrong with it.
You can, however, go wrong with putting a ten minute epic as your second track, as there is a great risk of it being forgotten by the end of the album. Nevertheless "Stimulus" is a memorable thrill ride with a very chill outro that fades into the latter and contrasting piece "Motion".
Before I get into the flow of the average "Track by track" format, let me skip ahead to "Terminus". Terminus can best be described as a dip in crystal clear water. The beginning is ever so smooth but so intense. The build up around the two minute mark sends chills up my spine as this epic develops into a powerful show of melodies and emotions. It ends just as it begins, proving how smart these guys are when it comes to formatting their epics.
Two of the songs are reserved interludes, "Tranquility" and "Bliss". "Tranquility" is aptly titled as it has a very 60s-esque combination of synth and lyricless vocals. The final thirty seconds are what really make the transition between "Tranquility" and "Furor" fluid. As for Bliss, it serves it's purpose of getting from one song to the next, nothing else can really be said about it.
The three classic songs have also been reworked into the flow of the album. With the exception of some minor production details, these are pretty much the same as they were a year ago. That is not to say a bad thing, as some bands rework their demos to the point where they sound nothing like the original. However, there are a couple minimal things I would have liked for them to clean up; there is one out-of-place power metal scream in Karma for example. As for their placement, they have no trouble fitting in with the rest of the music. Karma's end now flows into Terminus seamlessly. If you've heard Kamelot's "The Black Halo", you know that "Memento Mori" is the end of the story but "Serenade" is the encore song that ends the album. The same applies here as "Terminus" serves as the end of the album and "Paramount" is more of an encore piece.
I gave this album a 5 because for a debut album, it's really quite something, especially considering the budget they made it on. However, there are a couple flaws. I've alread mentioned that they could have cleaned up a bit on their original songs. I would also liked to point out that the radio interviews throughout were a good attempt at adding to the album, but in my opinion they were quite distracting. Lastly and as always, you've really got cojones if you make your debut album conceptual. They manage extremely well, but it was a bit risky.
Overall, I highly recommend that you give this a listen whether it's your type of music or not. You're in for a good solid hour of experimental metal.
Top Three: Gift, Karma, Terminus