Imagine the metalcore-world we live in now, where Asking Alexandria is still trying to find its way back to its metalcore roots, and Bring Me The Horizon have arguably made the decision to go in a more commercialized direction with their new record. Pray tell where should we find our new Warped Tour-core messiahs now? I have found the answer: Bad Omens. They are setting the scene on fire with their debut self-titled CD.
Opening track Glass Houses begins with an anthemic chant with as catchy a line as possible. Within one listen I was already yelling “I can see the Devil more than I see God!” at the top of my voice. This opener is so good at setting the tone of the entire album, that listeners know what they were in for. If Glass Houses got my curiosity, The Worst in Me got my full attention. Bad Omens has all the bells and whistles we can expect from modern metalcore, yet somehow at no point do any of these tropes sound contrived or put there via sloth in songwriting. Guitarists Nicholas Ryan and Joakim Karlsson write memorable riffs and catchy hook-y choruses. Plenty of industrial metal nods can be found in the electronic samples and keys that can be found on the album form an ideal springboard to jump into tracks like F E R A L. Drummer Nick Folio and bassist Vincent Riquier work well together to lock down a firmly aggressive base for all the songs on this record, and do a great job maintaining heaviness throughout.
Vocalist Noah Sebastien is such a force to be reckoned with on this album. He is easily one of the most diverse vocalists in the metalcore genre. It is no surprise that he holds BMTH vocalist Oli Sykes in high esteem and we can hear a lot of Sempiternal-era gruff-but-yet-discernable screaming throughout the record. He has nailed the art of scream-cleans with most of his choruses and it is tough to not want to sing along as loud as we possibly can.
What I love most about Bad Omens is that at no point did they compromise on creativity, even though they are in a somewhat stifling genre with stale elements. There is just so much variety on this record. From tortured, yet wholesome ballads like Enough, Enough Now to following banger Malice shows just how much these kids know about this genre and what astute songwriters they are at such a young age. Hedonist is a two-minute crusher that in my mind is the band telling all of us that they are still first and foremost, a metal band.
People in the metal world are going to complain about the perceived simplicity of tracks on Bad Omens and are going to insinuate that they write “radio-friendly metal” with their simple riffs and pop-y vocals, and that they are rip-offs of the many other modern metalcore and post-hardcore bands that are on the Warped Tour bill. But I believe that these are laurels, not complaints. Bad Omens is a great gateway album into the world of metal, and even though they aren’t the shredders that metalheads adore, they are by no means less creative and well-versed in the art of good songwriting.
Trust the boys at Sumerian Records to find yet another band that will garner a solid fan base and will fill up arenas in no time at all, and breathe fresh new life into an admittedly dying genre. Watch out Asking Alexandria, if their debut is anything to go by, the guys at Bad Omens are quickly making you look old and grey.
Favorite Tracks: Glass Houses, The Worst in Me, Hedonist.