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I find this wanting - 55%

Noktorn, January 31st, 2008

I like the opening track on this album; it has a pretty classic main riff and the vocals are very venomous, and it overall flows very well. The rest of the album though it pretty boring though, at least to me. It's an okay listen, but there's nothing very gripping about it; the songs are very repetitive and Insidious Omen themselves don't seem to have a huge number of ideas. All the tracks are the same, really: bleak, semi-melodic tremolo riffing over somewhat audible bass (and every song has one riff that's way better than the others for some reason, which is weird because all the riffs in a given song are based off essentially the same note progression), moderately fast skank beats and the occasional rock/blast/double bass section, and sort of churning, gut-wrenching screamed vocals. For all intents and purposes, the execution is fine; it's really the writing where it's somewhat flat.

Most music thrives off some sort of variation. When there's a lack of variation, you have to be really sure that what you're not varying is especially compelling to maintain the interest of the listener. Insidious Omen sure lacks variation, but what they keep repeating is stuff that you've heard before a LOT. Aside from the opening track, there's really only one other song I can really say is worth listening to: 'Bound In Flesh', because it's pretty much the same song as 'Grovelling Within The Zenith Of Perversion'. Those two songs have the best riffs and can actually sustain their repetition throughout their lengths. Honestly, I think that half the problems with this album could have been solved if the weaker songs were cut in half in length; they go on way longer than their ideas and riffs can actually sustain, and it just magnifies the problems in writing.

It seems that Insidious Omen is really influenced by a variety of French black metal bands, as they have a tendency to insert more unconventional, vaguely experimental riffs and rhythms. 'Hail Terror' is a pretty good example, with its strange little opening riffs, or 'A Scarring Quest Of Purity In Form' and its strange staggering drum beats halfway through. The problem with those is that if you're going to experiment, you have to go for the jugular and experiment with ALL parts. Insidious Omen is content to insert one or two experimental ideas into generally conventional song structures, which just creates an incongruous sound instead of the more unusual atmosphere they're going for. Ironically, Insidious Omen is at their best when they're being least ambitious and just playing normal (if somewhat unique in aesthetic) black metal. Either they should stick with that or go all-out in the experimentation, but as they are now, it's not really working fully.

This isn't really a bad album, and even in its weakest moments it's listenable, but I never get any particular desire to listen to anything but the first track. What typically happens is I put the album on, listen to the first song, enjoy it, and get through about fifteen seconds of the next one before I find something else to listen to. There's too much other music out there that's better composed to really spend a lot of time with this. It's not an outright failure, but I don't really see the same qualities that others do. Take that for what you will; maybe I'm the odd one out.

Filth, Rot, and Evil - 95%

ShadowSouled, January 18th, 2008

Edmonton, Alberta is really a place for finding quality black and death metal. That city has spawned many hard-hitting acts, such as Axis of Advance and Revenge. Now, a newer band has come to the surface: Insidious Omen play harsh black metal, and are definitively a band that deserves attention.

The two-piece band is quite adept at instrumentation, as becomes obvious withing the first few seconds of the album. The music is mostly mid paced, although a few songs are speedy in places. The riffs are complex, and evoke the same feeling of filth that bands such as Arkhon Infaustus have captured so well, but Insidious Omen adds a personal twist to it. The drumming is standard, although a slight downside is that occasionally it sounds as if the drummer is getting tired. The vocals are screechy and screamy, and often trail off into moans; there is no way to describe them accurately, listen to the album for yourself and you'll know what I mean. The lyrics seem to deal mostly with occultism and Satanism on a theistic basis, although I am not entirely certain if they could be placed in the orthodox subgenre of black metal. Scattered throughout the entirety of the album are sound samples and spoken-word passages, such as the beginning of And once...:" I watched the whole magnificence of the dawn for the last time as if it was the first; Then I said farewell to something, and set out to become what I became." The whole album conveys to the listener the impression of having been blasted by filth, rot and evil, and that such a feeling will not be washed off easily.

Insidious Omen is yet another jewel of an underground scene polluted by generic wannabe satanists in corpsepaint. This is black metal stripped of the trappings and the general stupidity that pervades a genre the second it becomes trendy; It also leaves the listener the impression that he or she has been soiled in some way by hearing this album. This is a soundtrack to humanity's selfdestruction.

Hail the master of loss, and buy this album.

Astonishing Black Metal - 85%

Basilisk, February 26th, 2007

Sick, raw, primal hatred emoting from these skull-crushing demons. The rhythms occasionally vary in speed, but it is mostly fast-paced and always brutal.

The cover of the album disgusts me quite a bit, but it is somehow majestic in a dark twisted kind of way. It doesn’t seem to be a tasteless joke like a few of the other filthy bands I’ve been noticing of late. It's not generic. This is real black-metal of the pit. Insidious in every way.

There is not much for me to complain about except for the fact that there is not a whole lot of range to the album’s music. But this is black-metal we’re talking about, Insidious Omen live up to my standards of the genre entirely. The vocals, guitars, drums; it's all solid stuff.

This is a great debut album, and I would definitely recommend keeping an eye on this newly spawned band as they seem quite promising. They still remain somewhat elusive; no homepage or anything as of yet. These guys are very underground, but the quality of the album is just fine. You can get the album, as long as it’s available, at nonemoreblackrecords.com