Bad Omens
Bad Omens


3.7
great

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
August 19th, 2016 | 121 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Impressive but familiar.

To say that Bad Omens bear an uncanny resemblance to Bring Me the Horizon circa their Semptiternal days is an understatement. The way that they toe the line between raw screaming and accessible melodies bears the mark of BMTH in just about every comparable way, which at the end of the day really just means that they’re doing something right. But whatever points they lose for originality they easily gain back by amping up the intensity and keeping a firm grasp on the type of memorable verses and choruses that will, in time, carve them out a permanent niche. Sure, it may not be the most admirable bid to fame – mastering a sound that’s already been thoroughly explored – but sometimes an album doesn’t need to be a trailblazer in order to excel at its goals; case-in-point here. Bad Omens sounds like, and is, a finished product. It’s the result of a band that has known exactly how it wants to sound for even longer than it’s actually been making music. When you combine the solidity of the group’s identity with the advanced level of production, Bad Omens ends up sounding more like something a band would release ten years into its career than it does an untested debut. To put it plainly, Bad Omens doesn’t pull any punches. It simply chugs away at what it does best and ends up marking a debut that should have the likes of Bring Me the Horizon, Asking Alexandria – and all other other genre peers who have recently surged in popularity – keeping a close eye over their respective shoulders.

Opener ‘Glass Houses’ makes an immediate splash with its mosh-worthy riffs, percussively heavy breakdowns, and an absolutely addicting chorus (I’ve seen the devil more than I’ve seen God). It’s easily one of the best songs on the entire record, and it is wisely positioned not only to draw listeners in, but also to give them a sample of what they can expect to experience for roughly the next forty minutes. Bad Omens is overflowing with energy, piling riff upon riff while allowing the momentum to bubble up so high that it has no choice but to explode. While this usually comes in the form of Noah Sebastian’s all-out screams, there are still some artsy moments on display that prove Bad Omens are more mature than your average metalcore outfit. ‘Enough, Enough Now’ is a primary example, stripping away all instrumental backing save for a lonely classical piano, while Sebastian screams from the bottom of his soul, “I’m just all fucked up and I really need your help.” It’s more sincere than it reads on paper because you can hear the pain in his voice and taste the devastation. It’s the kind of moment that saves would-be everyday metalcore, and while Bad Omens aren’t chock-full of these gems, they sprinkle enough of them throughout the album to elevate it from an artistic standpoint. That isn’t to say that they don’t succumb to any of the angsty, teen-bait clichés that are prominent in the genre (crowd chants and embarrassingly emo passages aren’t difficult to come by), but for the most part Bad Omens make a solid pitch for being a cut above their peers – and they succeed.

Bad Omens’ self-titled debut is impressive not only because it finds solid footing halfway between genre expectations and personal creativity, but also because it manages to bring forth an impressive blend of frothing-at-the-mouth rockers and vulnerable ballads. The former obviously dominates the majority of the runtime, but like other top-tier bands in the accessible alt-metal scene, they have mastered the art of balance. There aren’t many tracks on Bad Omens that are heavier or more intimidating in vocal stature than ‘Broken Youth’, yet the band showcases its versatility by following up that behemoth of a song with the gentle and atmospheric ‘Crawl’ – a haunting piano ballad that paints an image of a hellish nightmare (ghosts of soldiers will greet you and point the way…if this dreamshould last forever I pray to die). The most successful combination of styles and cadences comes via the album closer ‘The Fountain’, a hopeful mid-tempo rocker that simultaneously illustrates utter hopelessness (I had the whole damn world and I gave it all away) as well as personal triumph (I’m not afraid anymore / we will live forever). It makes for a gorgeous curtain-call, and it’s the kind of track that less seasoned bands would not be able to pull off – once again pointing to the band’s unprecedented maturity. Bad Omens feels a bit like a snapshot of the genre in which it resides, absorbing its greatest strengths while minimizing its inherent flaws. It’s definitely not perfect, but it’s a more than enjoyable outing for casual and diehard metal fans alike.

By the time Bad Omens has reached its end, there are a couple vastly different conclusions to draw. The first is that this is an impressively heavy and simultaneously diverse debut for a band that appears to be destined for a future in the limelight alongside metalcore’s most popular and accessible outfits. Second, the band does very little to escape the tiny box that defines their genre. If anything, they embrace those boundaries and use them as a means for mastering the content inside rather than exploring the territory around it – an outlook that has its benefits but also limits the overall scope of the band’s sound. In other words, it is unlikely that we will ever see Bad Omens release anything groundbreaking; they will only ever continue to release albums with a high floor and a low ceiling. As for their debut, it accomplishes precisely what it sets out to. It’s loud, raucous, emotional, and familiar. It’s a damned good start, but it also leaves one wondering where they can go from here without being forced to immediately retrace their steps. Then again though, maybe that’s of no concern for a band that seems to have it all together from the start.




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user ratings (155)
Chart.
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
August 19th 2016


31068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I hate it when bands don't post the full songs on soundcloud. Especially when they can easily be found on youtube:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReJyRFj917k

Digging: Kishi Bashi - Omoiyari

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
August 19th 2016


6264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow, wasn't expecting a staff review too. Now they'll definitely get noticed on here. Hope my future Arcane Roots promotional efforts go as smoothly, haha.

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
August 19th 2016


6264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just one point about the review - The music was all written by Noah alone before the band members filled in the rest of the lineup. Reads like it was a collaborative effort but it was all done by the time they got there. I assume LP2 will have more input from the other four.

bloc
August 19th 2016


55846 Comments


Wow did they even try to not copy BMTH?

Digging: Paris - Sleeping with the Enemy

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 19th 2016


31068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Don't know, it's pretty similar at times whether it is intentional or coincidental. Didn't prevent me from enjoying it though.

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
August 19th 2016


6264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

He even has the lisp, haha.

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 19th 2016


31068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not that it matters but album art is cool as hell

mindleviticus
August 19th 2016


9763 Comments


recommended by reviewer
Bring Me the Horizon Sempiternal
Asking Alexandria The Black

AVG rating: 4.4 superb

Are we on fucking mars

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 19th 2016


31068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That 4.4 won't last. Guessing the avg will settle between 3.3-3.7, with my score for the review representing optimism

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
August 19th 2016


6264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is nothing like AA, is 100% like BMTH. And the 4.4 is cause some dude 5'd it like five times.

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 19th 2016


31068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It was at 4.6 prior to my review

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
August 19th 2016


6264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

3.5 seems right. About the same sexiness rating 1-10 I'd give that Grande gif. But people on Sput think she's hot so whatever.

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 19th 2016


31068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

you're out of your mind if you don't think she's insanely hot



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WbCfHutDSE

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
August 19th 2016


6264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Guess I'm out my gahtdayum mind then. She looks like a little kid to me. I prefer people with faces like Doutzen Kroes plus actual T&A, but then again I'm mid 20s so probably older than most of you... in time your preferences may change. Or maybe not.

rc239
August 19th 2016


258 Comments


this is what "That's the Spirit" should've been tbh

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 19th 2016


31068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Call me silly but I liked That's The Spirit. Reminded me of the shit I used to love when I was in my mid to late teens.

rc239
August 19th 2016


258 Comments


oh yeah, it isn't particularly bad but it was such a disappointing direction for BMTH to take after how good sempiternal was (imo)

really digging this album though

SteakByrnes
August 19th 2016


14925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album was very enjoyable, much more so than I expected it to be. The three singles released prior to the release were fun jams (Glass Houses, Exit Wounds, The Worst In Me) and I'm glad that those tracks weren't the best that the album had to offer (minus Glass Houses because that song is by far the best to me). Top four tracks for me would have to be Glass Houses, The Letdown, Reprise, and Broken Youth. Noah's voice incredible for this type of music

Digging: Imminence - Turn The Light On

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
August 19th 2016


6264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Fountain is the best, though.

SteakByrnes
August 19th 2016


14925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I liked that track quite a bit as well, but I think Glass Houses trumps all



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