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Omega Crom
Blood, Steel & Fire
April 2010
Released: 2009, Reversed Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Omega Crom have been in the underground for years and years now. I wrote a favourable review of their initial demo, on this very site about six years ago. It took a lot longer than I thought for the debut album to see the light of day but it was worth the wait. Some fans may recall that Stu Block left Omega Crom to join Into Eternity some years back. It took a while for Guitarist Johnny K. to re-establish the band and to take over the vocal role as well, so it’s better late than never. Omega Crom are back and ready to conquer.



You can easily add Omega Crom to the ever-growing number of elite bands emerging from Western Canada, (Divinity, Three Inches Of Blood, Into Eternity and another half dozen) that are making a mark on the global scene. I believe technically the album was released as an indie but now has a label and some tour support as they are coming across Canada (in Spring of 2010).



Omega Crom throw everything into the kitchen sink for a unique and dynamic, even schizophrenic, listening experience. The vocals of Johnny K are all over the map, from shrieks, screams, roars, he demonstrates his versatility in style and delivery. Many bands employ the now familiar ‘beauty’ (high) and the ‘beast’ (low) vocals, but often other bands use two singers. Johnny does it all from death to highs that would make King Diamond proud!



Sonically the band are crushing, ranging from hints of death, power, thrash and prog, then suddenly mix in acoustic interludes like in the fourth cut ‘The Passing Of Azazel’. Omega Crom really have embraced a multi-disciplinary style, cooking it thoroughly and belching out of the evil metal cauldron, this somewhat bizarre yet highly entertaining and potent metallic brew. Wait until you hear the 10+ minute epic 'Metal Revolution'! The brave and ambitious compositional dynamics remind me a bit of Hammers Of Misfortune for attaining that quirky, hard to articulate style, that is unique and appealing. Omega Crom truly do bring the Blood, Steel and Fire!
Track Listing

1. Warpath
2. Battlefield
3. Calling Of The Dead
4. The Passing Of Azazel
5. The Prisoner (The Drawing)
6. Playing God
7. The Parliament Of Stone
8. F.F.O.H.T.L.
9. Metal Revolution

Lineup

Johnny K- Vocals
Wayne Holden-Guitar
Ian Wilke-Bass
Dan La Pierre-Drums

Other reviews

» To Arms (demo)
by JP

» Blood, Steel & Fire
by JP

» Blood, Steel & Fire
by Robert Williams

» Beyond Control
by JP


Next review: » Omega Crom - Blood, Steel & Fire
Previous review: » Omega Crom - Beyond Control

Omega Crom
Blood, Steel & Fire
May 2010
Released: 2009, Reversed Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

Formed in 2002, Vancouver, British Columbia's four piece of metal warriors Omega Crom offer forth their debut full length BLOOD, STEEL & FIRE featuring a killer album cover by vocalist/guitarist Johnny Ketlo (Talk about DIY). I've seen mentions of power and thrash metal in reference to Omega Crom, neither of which I would personally endorse. From the second I popped this disc into my player it was apparent that this was pretty far left of field. Vocalist Johnny Ketlo incorporates mid-range and falsetto traditional metal vocals alongside gruff extreme metal growling. Musically the metallic genre splicing is all over the playing field, which in turn makes for a pretty unique listening experience.



On "The Passing of Azazel" drummer Dan La Pierre delivers a heavy hitting onslaught, seamlessly shifting tempos as the tandem of guitarists Johnny Ketlo and Wayne Holden mix some acoustic nylon string sounding riffage amongst distorted rhythm guitar and blazing lead fretwork. There are some neat vocal harmonies and phrasing on "The Prisoner (The Drawing)" a song that slowly builds in its ballad-like intro before double kicking its way towards some pit inducing breakdowns. A song like this really demonstrates the vast amount of riffs that encompass an Omega Crom composition. "The Parliament of Stone" sounds like a Yiddish folk song interpreted by an escaped mental patient on a freebase crack cocaine binge. Is that a good thing? I don't know... but I suppose it works in spots. "Metal Revolution" closes the debut full length as the band's token metal anthem. At just over ten minutes, this epic, at one point or another, recalls the many twists and turns the seven songs that precede it have offered. Piercing high screams, gravelly throated extreme vocals, soft acoustic guitars, distorted galloping romps... If you had to pick one song to play for someone to fully understand what Omega Crom is about, it would be "Metal Revolution"... Given, they had ten minutes to spare.



Obviously these four have invested a lot of themselves into the finished product that is BLOOD, STEEL & FIRE. From the cover art and layout to the epic and endless riffing to be found within the albums eight songs, this was no doubt an enormous effort. Although certainly not the norm, the mixture of melodic and extreme vocals has been done before with varying results from bands like Germany's Sacred Steel to fellow Canadians 3 Inches of Blood. As a listener I think I would have preferred Johnny to decide on one style and stick to it for the album's duration, but I really can't fault these guys for making an album that stands apart from the paint by numbers crowd. This album should help to garner the Omega Crom guys some due attention and hopefully we will hear more from them in the future.
Track Listing

1. Warpath
2. Battlefield
3. Calling Of The Dead
4. The Passing Of Azazel
5. The Prisoner (The Drawing)
6. Playing God
7. The Parliament Of Stone
8. F.F.O.H.T.L.
9. Metal Revolution

Lineup

Johnny K- Vocals
Wayne Holden-Guitar
Ian Wilke-Bass
Dan La Pierre-Drums

Other reviews

» To Arms (demo)
by JP

» Blood, Steel & Fire
by JP

» Blood, Steel & Fire
by Robert Williams

» Beyond Control
by JP


Next review: » Omega Crom - To Arms (demo)
Previous review: » Omega Crom - Beyond Control





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