Omniarch – Omniarch Review

Canada boasts a vibrant metal scene, and unsung youngsters Omniarch aim high on their debut, self-titled LP, hoping to carve out their own impression in the vast landscape of the Canadian metal scene. Welding impressive instrumental chops and oodles of exuberant, thrashy energy, Omniarch nail the basics well while cultivating a modern metal amalgam that explores technical, progressive and melodic terrain, with a lively sound that dips into thrash, prog and occasionally blackened, technical, and melodic death waters. Sometimes it feels as though the band’s restless energy and varied mix of extreme and deathly styles is developed in a somewhat scattered, haphazard abandon, resulting in a debut with fleeting promise, marred by its fair share of flaws.

Shades of The Black Dahlia Murder and Enfold Darkness envelop Omniarch‘s own vision. Opener “Caligula” brims with energy and well executed dynamic shifts, including a brief acoustic interlude and clean vocal. Otherwise the pace is galloping and the vocals shift between a rather effective blackened pitch to less impressive deeper tones and hardcore-tinged shouts. The inconsistencies in the vocal delivery are often replicated musically, with some interesting ideas not really translating into memorable or remarkable songs. That’s not to suggest there’s nothing of merit on offer here, but the end results form a frustrating sketch of potential unfulfilled. Omniarch flirt restlessly with varied ideas and genre shifts. The technical, thrashy melodeath with proggy touches seems to be the most effective components of the band’s formula, certainly not wholly original, but sharper in focus.

Out of the seven tunes comprising Omniarch, most of the compositions offer something of minor interest in scattered places, rarely gelling into anything especially compelling or substantial. When Omniarch harness their technical and melodic sensibilities into thrashy, high energy bursts of aggressive modern metal there’s fun to be had. Although not without its issues, “Humanaut” manages to thrash, chug and pack a decent punch with a ripping solo and solid technicality. “Pathfinder” mostly nails the balance between hardcore flecked blackened thrash with a progressive, technical edge. It also benefits from not cramming too many ideas into its compact arrangement, a weakness evident throughout the album. Meanwhile the aggressive and adventurous “Wrath of Erymanthos” taps into some of the band’s stronger qualities, without straying too far off the beaten path.

Musically, the individual performances are admirable and tightly executed, with plenty of talent on show. Although the instrumental skills on display are technically proficient, there’s notable deficiencies marring the overall quality of the final product. The metalcore elements, most obvious in the vocal department and more generic riffing, are at odds with the album’s strengths, which includes some interesting proggy quirks and the occasionally inspired riff or solo. However, the restless and awkward vocal dynamics create unnecessary distractions, while the songwriting can slip maddeningly from the mildly intriguing to the utterly forgettable. And at 37 minutes, while not overly long by modern metal album standards, Omniarch is overstuffed and several tracks outstay their welcome

The slick performances, unbridled enthusiasm and solid production values impress from an unsigned, DIY perspective. Splashes of potential are evident during Omniarch‘s confident debut, yet the album’s flaws are too glaring to overlook. Clunky arrangements, some ill-advised vocal choices, and songs that generally fail to engage on a consistent and meaningful level, results in a collection of tunes mostly unable to stack up against the band’s obvious technical chops and exuberant performances.

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self-Released
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: May 8th, 2020

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