The Omega Experiment
The Omega Experiment



by Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF
February 29th, 2012 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Omega Experiment switch gears from flaunting their best to trying to get by with a more atmospheric sound.

There are two glaring faults with The Omega Experiment's self-titled release. The first is a fault of the listener that is becoming more and more prevalent: with bands rapidly creating and releasing material online in high volume and relatively high quality, we as listeners come to expect something astonishing, fresh, and entirely original whenever we listen to something new, even when coming from the same band a year later. This can create a problem when a relatively new band is introduced to the music world by way of an EP - in this case the Karma EP, released only a little over a year ago to the online community. Sure, the EP gets the band a lot of interest and hype, but there's also a cost.

In this case, that cost is that one third of the full-length album's material is a re-release. We've heard these songs before, and even if Acle Kahney has messed with the production and leading man Dan Wieten has tweaked things a little bit... so what? The differences are minute enough that no casual listener will ever pick them out and even veteran audiophiles will have issues nitpicking due to the repetitious nature of the song structuring. Even more irksome is that the group have tried to play around with the order of the Karma songs on this album, introducing the first of the tracks only after the close of "Tranquility" and interspersing at least one track between each of the three EP songs. In some cases, I'd say that's a winning strategy, especially when artists release a varied sort of "demo" album that just debuts a bunch of tracks slapped together. But Karma did have a cohesive flow to it that didn't need to be disrupted in that way, especially in the case of the overproduced circuslike ending to "Tranquility," meant to lead into the similarly chaotic intro to "Furor," but instead over-complicating the track it calls its own.

Maybe if we were hearing The Omega Experiment without prior exposure to Karma we wouldn't think this way. We'd be hearing the tracks for the first time and marveling at Wieten's high, soaring vocals meshing with sparkling keyboard and guitar leads playfully layered over heavy, distorted rhythms, willing to let some of the filler ("Tranquility," "Bliss," and the full minute of mumbling over electronic noise inserted into the start of closer "Paramount") slide.

Karma has been out for a year now, though, and it does taint the reception of this album. But at least we can accept the fact that those tracks ("Furor," "Karma," and "Paramount") are great tracks, and, bitterness about the change in flow aside, it's right to say that the album has some objectively good material on it. Unfortunately, it seems like these tracks are also the best tracks on the album and are markedly distinct from many of the new additions. For example, "Karma" is marked by a huge flux in tempo, tone, and direction, while songs like "Terminus" rely too heavily on an atmospheric take that underutilizes the band's instrumental skills while relying too much on Wieten's vocal capabilities. And at an over nine minute run time, the song starts to blur together and drone on far too long. Again, excusable if it's a once-and-done thing, but the same issue looms over most of the new tracks on the album ("Gift" at least somewhat excepted).

Much of these new stylistic issues can be attributed to a few things. First of all, the harsh vocals on Karma are absent from any of the new tracks on The Omega Experiment. The three song preview seemed to suggest a good mix of harsh and clean vocals that created a very strong contrasting effect that enhanced Wieten's vocals in a way similar to Opeth or Devin Townsend songs. But they're simply not there and it leaves you scratching your head at the end of the day. Couple that with the dull sense of rhythm on the new tracks that is over produced and placed too high in the mix and you get... Well, bored. The drumming and rhythm sections on Karma were as exciting and dynamic as most of the new tracks are simple, boring, and drawn out. Again, just another huge head-scratcher.

Of course, melodious lead guitar and keyboard parts jump in from time to time to support Wieten's majestically warm and light voice, but, again, they're not as consistent as they were on the EP. They also seem to have lost some of the bell-like shimmering quality that the Karma tracks possess in favor of a lower, jazz-driven tone that dampens what was once a more unique sound. But at least they're there and they can take center stage when given the opportunity, piquing the listener's interest in a period of otherwise dull semi-atmospheric mush.

On the whole, while The Omega Experiment is a disappointing follow-up to a rather astounding EP, it doesn't dash all hopes for the group. The talent is clearly still there, but something has happened to its implementation. Hopefully Wieten and company can re-evaluate their direction, reconsider the strengths and weaknesses of the full-length as compared to their earlier release, and come up with a better game plan for their next outing.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
February 29th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

O hai sputnik. Been a while since I've written a review.

Unfortunately I was sort of disappointed by this, being that Karma blew me away and this was just... meh. I think these guys may have taken the criticism about sounding like Devin Townsend too seriously and let it impact their sound :/

Staff Reviewer
February 29th 2012


good review, pos.

Digging: Manimal - Trapped in the Shadows

Staff Reviewer
February 29th 2012


this band sounds awesome. I"m a Prog-head, so i'll have to check them out.

February 29th 2012


Good review man, I have heard some of this and found it pretty enjoyable but I still need to hear the whole thing.

February 29th 2012


Album Rating: 2.0

Review is spot on

March 1st 2012


This was so overrated when it first came out.

March 31st 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

The vocal tuning on this record is so over the top and poorly done. Almost completely ruins it for me.

Shame, because there are lots of cool ideas at work.

June 18th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

sounds like a Textures-Devin Townsend hybrid

a 3.7-3.8 in my book. Solid.

July 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

I actually liked the atmospherics, and was actually blown away by them. Also didn't hear their EP but

after this review I certainly give it a good going over.

Actually it is just 3 out of 9 songs. no need to get your pannies in a bunch imo. They did what they

wanted to do so I'm happy

August 5th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

This album is pretty good. I wasn't aware of their work last year so I guess I have that working in my favor. That being said, the first two tracks, while having some really good ideas, do kinda drag a bit. With the exception of "Motion", I found the interludes to be a nice, sweet break from the larger and more dense songs. "Furor" and "Karma" do have quite a few interesting moments, though I think the former is stronger and more attention grabbing.

As for the vocal work and overall style, if they indeed changed it to get away from comparisons to Devin Townsend, I think it would be wise if they didn't try so hard not to in the future, but rather branch out musically. Much of this LP is reminiscent of Infinity channeled through Dream Theater with their own edge added to it.

December 11th 2012


not bad.

Digging: Odious - Skin Age

December 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album, I just think some of the intros and outros are just filler.

January 3rd 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

Listening to this again and its piss ass boring the 2nd time around. 4 to a 3.

October 7th 2013


A friend of mine is playing drums for these guys on their European tour right now.

Digging: Sleep - Dopesmoker

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