There’s been a lot of hype around the debut record from the metalcore newcomers Bad Omens. While many people seemed stoked on the first few singles the band released, others seemed slightly put off by the similarities the tracks held in comparison to Bring Me The Horizon’s Sempiternal. But regardless of whether or not they drew inspiration from one of the biggest staples in the genre, there is no denying that this self-titled release is a great record.
From a heavier standpoint, the most hard hitting songs are featured towards the beginning of the album. With “Glass Houses” as the opener, Bad Omens start off with a bang while tapping into some more unusual song writing methods. The chorus is extremely catchy without feeling poppy while the lyrics instantly notify the listener that they may have intentionally taken things from Bring Me, but did so in a stylize mockery. “You stabbed me in the back/but not deep enough” roars out vocalist Noah Sebastian, a line reminiscent of Bring Me’s far more cringe-worthy lyric “True friends stab you in the front.”
Tracks like “Exit Wounds” and “Feral” intensify this record as they take on a more raggedy, jagged tone both instrumentally and vocally. This intentional un-refinement is edgy and aggressive, but helps to balance out the softer side of the record seen with tracks like the more melodic “The Worst In Me” and “Crawl.” In fact, “Crawl” is so toned down and airy that it could easily fit the score of a Hayao Miyazaki film instead of a metalcore record. Bad Omens play a lot with contrast. Aside from “Crawl,” the record features other moments like those on “Enough, Enough Now” and “Malice” in which unclean vocals are used alongside piano keys. However, these tracks vary in direction as the former is far more relaxed than the fast-paced, in your face tone of the latter.
While the majority of the record’s tracks are bangers, Bad Omens did fall into the filler song pit throughout the second half of the release. “Broken Youth” and “Reprise (The Sound of the End)” feature standard metalcore clichés and do very little to stand out amongst such a group of diverse tracks. Though they help to add to the heaviness of the latter half of the record, they aren’t essential to the sounds already tapped into throughout Bad Omens.
That being said, the final track of the record, “The Fountain,” is the least metal song on the record, but also the strongest. It’s atmospheric, it’s weird, it’s highly original, and it features mainly clean vocals. I mean there are exotic drums and flutes featured on this track; it’s just gorgeous. Just as Bad Omens did with “Crawl,” “The Fountain” creates this lulling, wave-like vibe that floats through the sound waves. It’s a super sophisticated track that ends the album on a highly ethereal note. In complete opposition to the opening tracks, “The Fountain” becomes the statement piece of the record that sets Bad Omens apart from being just another run-of-the-mill scream oriented band, diversifying them greatly from being a carbon copy of anything.
Bad Omens is one hell of a debut record that the band should be monumentally stoked on. If they keep up this quality of song writing as well as this overall vibe, they can expect only good things in the future.