Bad Omens
The Death of Peace of Mind


4.0
excellent

Review

by Simon K. STAFF
February 25th, 2022 | 81 replies


Release Date: 02/25/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A thoroughly enjoyable album, but one can't help but feel it could have been so much more.

Every year, one maybe two songs connect with me in a way very few tracks can. Generally speaking, these kinds of tracks come from artists I don’t typically have in my regular rotations, or indeed, maybe I’ve never even heard of the artist until hearing the song in question. This musing came to the forefront when Bad Omens’ titular single “The Death of Peace of Mind” came out last year, and my obsession with it began to manifest. It’s a weird little anecdote of mine, but these rare penny-dropping experiences are pretty intense – and it is a testament to the song itself, because it has to go through a lot of subconscious prerequisites to attain this obsessive affair. In the case of Bad Omens, they’ve come a bloody long way in such a short space of time. I heard their 2016 debut LP back in the day with relative ambivalence, scrubbing them off as a competent, albeit cookie-cutter metalcore outfit – the type of metalcore band that imitates Bring Me the Horizon’s [Simp]iternal in the same way all generic metalcore bands do these days. Hell, the band even doubled down on that Sempiternal/That’s the Spirit worship for 2019’s Finding God Before God Finds Me to almost egregious, creatively bankrupt degrees. As such, it’s safe to say I never held the band in any kind of high regard. Nevertheless, something happened in the space of just two years: the band wrote a song so far removed from anything they’d previously written, it didn’t even sound like it was coming from the same group.

For years now I’ve spewed out countless sentiments about where I think metalcore is creatively, to the point where the titbits themselves sound like shallow platitudes, but metalcore is such a myopic style of music that writes itself into a corner more often than not, it makes it hard to break away from the obvious comparisons so many people point out. However, “The Death of Peace of Mind” is a true watershed moment for both Bad Omens and the genre itself. The gorgeously shot and directed music video accompanying the piece enshrines the omnipresent disquiet, while the mendacious undertones seductively sashay into eerie view. I surmise the song’s themes to be about addiction and the pernicious effects that addiction has – watching it betray people’s wants and desires, and how these things can make you overlook the precious things that matter in life, maybe even leading to your demise if you let it consume you enough. It’s juicy stuff – yet, the track itself is also galaxies away from the rudimentary writing styles of yore. Noah’s vocals have evolved to unprecedented levels, delivering ethereal Sleep Tolkien-esque croons, oil-slick melodies that soar into the gloomy skies, and a battering ram of metalcore screams that are being used in an auxiliary capacity. This armament of moods is married perfectly with the instrumentals’ lethargic dreamesque build-ups that culminate into this wonderfully paid off explosion for the third act of the track. In short, I think “The Death of Peace of Mind” is the classiest the genre has sounded in a very long time, simply because it creates something new from the genre’s archaic toolset. All of the accessible pop-y traits are there from recent years, along with the electronics and heavy guitars, but these elements synergise into something entirely idiosyncratic.

The proceeding singles don’t hinder the quality of that first track either – showing further promise and diversity in a way that veers away from the Bring Me the Horizon comparisons plaguing the genre, and indeed the band. “What Do You Want from Me?” has clearly taken inspiration from HEALTH’s most recent works, with its bopping industrial backbone and deluge of reverb-encased vocal effects surrounding Noah’s voice; “Artificial Suicide”, despite being cut from the more traditional metalcore-chugging cloth, manages to be incredibly fun, centring its production choices around Mick Gordon’s DOOM: Soundtrack to give it that added umph and felicity; and “Like a Villain” and “The Grey” sound like solid alt-metal tracks with plenty of heart to distinguish themselves from their peers. Suffice it to say, The Death of Peace of Mind was building itself up to be one hell of a record. The question was, at fifteen tracks, could the album maintain the level of quality it was running with?

The short answer is ultimately yes; on the whole the album is thoroughly enjoyable and manages to be one of the best metalcore albums I’ve heard in a very long time. However, the singles showcasing The Death of Peace of Mind appear to display the best moments from the record. While the proceeding tracks maintain a high level of enjoyability, they can, at times, fumble around with a sound that sits in between the glorious sophistication of the album’s titular single and a derivative backtracking, that echoes some of BMTH’s well-used traits. Thankfully, the BMTH comparisons here are minimal, but they are present in some of Noah’s grittier cleans and the occasional electronic hook that supports the chorus to “Take Me First”, for example. What is a little disappointing though, is the fact the album sells itself short on the diverse spectrum of sounds its singles so fervently display – leveling at a plateau of sugary cleans and some contemporary electronics for a good portion of the latter half of the record. “Artificial Suicide” is, unfortunately, a one off here, which is a shame when you consider the album is clocking in at fifteen tracks. The LP really could have benefited from one or two more heavy-focused numbers. A small blessing here is that most of the alt-rock tracks have big, catchy choruses, and some decent instrumentation. However, after “The Grey” right up to “Artificial Suicide”, the momentum becomes marred with average electronic-heavy-ambient-pop-tunes that hold very little context or distinction from the highlights on here. “IDWT$” being the most asinine copy-paste of BMTH’s sound, and “Bad Decision”, “Who Are You?”, or “Somebody Else” for serving up the most forgettable heart-rate lowering numbers from the tracklisting.

In some ways I’m massively disappointed with The Death of Peace of Mind, and at times I think the band have dropped the ball a bit. Nevertheless, the reality here is that Bad Omens’ third entry is actually a tremendous improvement over their previous works, and it manages to rekindle a small amount of hope I have for this dying genre – because the fact is, Bad Omens have, bar a couple of habitual elements, avoided the imitative aspects of their writing in an effort to craft something almost entirely their own. This is the biggest achievement of all, because it’s an album that avoids the eye-rolling tropes a lot of metalcore bands fall for. It can’t be understated that Noah’s versatility here is utterly incredible, the production is punchy and has a dystopian cyberpunk-ish feel to it, and over 85% of the LP succeeds with flying colours. It’s just a shame the band couldn’t expand on “The Death of Peace of Mind” and explore something truly ghoulish, and heavy. Because, as painful as it is to admit, Bad Omens came damn close to delivering a near perfect offering. As it stands, while it does fall short in some areas, it’s irrefutable the band have created something very enjoyable, and that's cause for celebration, if nothing else.



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Bad Omens


Comments:Add a Comment 
JayEnder
February 25th 2022


15192 Comments


These the same guys that pulled from a tour because their name was too small on the poster?

Digging: Chat Pile - God's Country

bloc
February 25th 2022


68815 Comments


lmao

Digging: Cheem - Guilty Pleasure

greatestlie
February 25th 2022


1 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great write-up, agree with a lot of it. I feel like they could've cut a couple tracks, but it was a very enjoyable listen. I had never heard of these guys until a couple of these singles came out

onionbubs
February 25th 2022


16069 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

somewhere between a 2.5-3 for me easily their worst imo like half of this album is ballads

whitefilipino
February 25th 2022


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Senses Fail made up the "name too small on poster" to cover for the fact that they screwed Bad Omens over on a tour agreement. They put out a statement here https://www.altpress.com/news/bad-omens-statement-senses-fail-the-amity-affliction-tour/

botb
February 25th 2022


15459 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

^one of the members of the band for sure

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2022


4586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

bad omens

great read, doubt i'll like this a lot tho

Durrzo
February 25th 2022


2711 Comments


People like to meme on the small font thing but that's not what actually happened and Senses Fail are confirmed cunts, probably time to drop that dumb rumor lol.

This is solid. Several tracks were total misses, mainly the ones you mentioned in the review, but what's good is very good. Noah really is an outstanding vocalist.

JayEnder
February 25th 2022


15192 Comments


Well I'm glad that was cleared up. Makes sense considering what SF just did to Counterparts and SYSC.

MrGlass
February 25th 2022


545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this review is pretty spot on. great album with some pacing issues and needs a solid nudge toward the heavy side of their sound, but the highlights are absolute bangers. they also sounded killer in concert 2 nights ago

eames91
February 25th 2022


78 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

still waiting for the rescheduled covid shows... lol

Toondude10
February 25th 2022


14925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

loving this so far

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2022


17569 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Had a feeling you’d enjoy this quite a bit toon.



In all honesty, with the way the singles were coming out, I was expecting to give this a near 5/5. Shame they decided to stick more to accessible electro-pop ballads instead of gloomy, atmospheric metal

Toondude10
February 25th 2022


14925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ironically I feel like the electro-pop stuff is some of the best material on here, though I will say this probably would've been better if they cut like 3 songs



"What Do You Want From Me" gives me serious late-90s/early-2000s NIN

tyman128
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2022


3525 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

might need to give this some more time, but it didn't really stick with me the first two listens

Digging: Domestic Terminal - All The Stories Left To Tell

SteakByrnes
February 25th 2022


27375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Every song on this so far has the exact same formula and it's very predictable, but Noah sounds incredible

Digging: Chat Pile - God's Country

outliers
February 26th 2022


3547 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

like a villain bangs ngl

SteakByrnes
February 26th 2022


27375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Just Pretend and The Grey are great



A lot of this is just kinda there, and it's far too long with too many aimless songs. The heavy song was pretty out of left field, and it's not as good as their other heavy tracks in the past. Noah does sound fantastic all over this tho

onionbubs
February 26th 2022


16069 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yea [2] pretty much all of that

tyman128
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2022


3525 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[3]

give me the first 9 songs and the closer and this becomes a 4



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