Friday, October 11, 2013

Broken Hope: Omen Of Disease Reviewed

Being a huge Broken Hope fan since more than 10 years the news of a new album was well revived by me to put it lightly (it was not like I was  jumping up and down screaming on the top of my lungs or anything …....). I have always regarded Broke Hope as a very special band, they always had their own sound, they truly had a sound of their own, very distinct. From the riffing, drumming, solos to the vocals. If you are not a custom to Broken Hope`s music it was groovy technical death metal. Their earlier material was more old school death metal (kind of funny to write since when they released the material in question it was not old school since that was not a thing at the time, it was just death metal). And their two latest albums took a more technical turn, their last album before splitting up in 2001 Grotesque blessing took the band to some really technical places while keeping the groove.

So twelve years after the band disbanded original guitarist Jeremy Wagner and long time bass player Sean Glass decided to start the band up again with a new line up. So yeah my expectations was huge for this album, but at the same time I tried to keep my emotions in check. Since maybe this will suck.

But don't be afraid it doesn't, is it as great as their old albums, hm I don't know. Some of the songs on this album really kick some serious ass, and it is groovy as fuck but their older stuff just has a special place in my heart and there are some aspect are gone or changed. This is of course naturally since the players have changed. One thing that hasn't changed thou is the riffs, Jeremy is still a monster riff-smith. This album still screams Broken Hope in the riffing, a lot of the signature riffs ( track nr two Womb of horrors is classic Broken Hope) from the past makes a comeback and I cant stop smiling when certain riffs comes that makes me things of their older songs. Ok some of the songs are not up there among their greatest but all in all they all work. And then again some songs are just killer, the title track Omen of disease and the track Predacious poltergeist (Chemically castrated anyone??) are just fantastic. Heavy as I don't know and just listen to the little break near the end of the title track wow, that is just amazing.

We still have the amazing riffing, now what about the vocals, former vocalist Joe Ptacek (rip) was replaced with Damien Leski and he is doing a good job but I think that there is something lacking. To be honest I have not heard Leski in his other bands but in the context of Broken Hope it just feels a bit weird. Not that he is doing a bad job and he has the same uber gutteral vocals as Joe, but to my ears is just sounds like he is trying to emulate Joe and he is not really reaching the highs or maybe I should say lows of Joe's golden voice. Again I can't say he is bad in any way, I just can't shake the falling that it would be more interesting with some more personality. Then again if I was not told that the band had a new vocalist I'm not totally sure that I would have called it. And I guess that is all you need to know, the vocals are super low and they are not just for show.

One thing I miss on this album is the solos that Brian Griffin played, they were very melodic and really original. The solos on Omen of disease are great solos for sure, but they are not very personal or original. They are more shredding in the school of Slayer, chaotic stuff you have heard a million times before. One stand out solo is the solo in the song The Flesh mechanic, that one is epic.

The drumming is less playful on what we got on Grotesque blessing, but Mike Miczek is a great drummer and he plays everything true to the older albums. Broken Hope has never had the fastest blast beat and on this album the blast is still not super fast. The band still relies on groove to carry their message across, of course there is still blasts and thrash beats but groove is still the main offender.

Moving on to the production it is slick sleek and modern. My main beef with this album is actually the production, ok this is not a game over moment but the bass should really have had a different sounds, it sounds very bathtub, I don't know how to say it in English but I guess it is just way to trebley for my taste. It doesn't have the punch or warmth that I like in a bass sound. But hey that is just a small piece of the overall sounds scape. I really don't have too much ells to say about the production since it is good and sounds the way you would expect. 

So they are fucking back, yes the best fucking death metal band of all time is back! With Omen of disease they have released a beast of an album. I have my complaints but all in all this is one mother of an album. I would say that my criticisms comes from that I love this band so much and for me they are the gold standard on which all other bands are judged, so they get it the worst of all bands.
So if you like Broken Hope buy this album, if you like death metal buy this album if you like turbo electro swing grind folk, buy this fucking album!

Sweden`s Wilhelm Lindh*, "Portuguese by adoption," guitar player,  composer and owner of the Doom / Death Metal band The Gardnerz, reviews here in Careful and professional analysis to the music and albums with suggestions of what there is to see and hear ... not to be missed. "The wisdom is found in the extremes, all extreme Metal here!".

Broken Hope
1.Septic Premonitions
2.Womb of Horrors
4.The Flesh Mechanic
5.Rendered into Lard
6.Omen of Disease
7.The Docking Dead
8.Give Me the Bottom Half
9.Predacious Poltergeist
10.Blood Gullet
11.Carnage Genesis
12.Choked Out and Castrated
13.Incinerated (2013 Redux)

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