Omen mark's the sixth full-length studio album by Soulfly, and finds the band continuing to bring their brand of Metal, but doing a little experimenting in the background of some of the tracks. While this release shows that Soulfly is staying away from the strong Nu-Metal/Mallcore roots in favor of a stronger, more mature Groove-driven foundation, there really isn't that much new to report about this offering, as it's the same thing that listeners have been embracing since the past few albums, but with a little more emphasis on the guitar work, and much heavier.
It appears that with Omen, the band has focused more on creating an actual Metal album instead of trying to bring in a huge tribal influence. While this is a huge departure for Soulfly and kind of derails the purpose of the band, that doesn't mean all hope is lost. As a matter of fact, this makes Omen a much more solid effort, even treading on Max's earlier works, and finding nothing to redirect the flow of the music as it follows one specific heavy track right from the start to next. There's still the hint of tribal aspects in the guitar riffs, and rarely in the accompanying drums, permeating that signature sound that has made this act stand out against the many others, but the problem is that many of the songs sound like one another. Sometimes the only way you can distinguish which is which will be with the guitar solos or the odd, almost misplaced sounding higher guitar melodies that seem layered on top of the music, such as during "Rise of the Fallen". The other factor lies strictly in speed. "Jeffrey Dahmer" and "Vulture Culture", for instance, are faster, heavier songs compared to the rest. The only other unique element really comes on "Rise of the Fallen" through the use of a second vocalist.
Aside having plenty of musical similarities, there are also vocal similarities. "Bloodbath & Beyond" is a nice introduction to the album, though it does come off a little boring and repetitive. The monotone shouting vocals performed here get rather boring and follow a simple set pattern for both the verse and chorus, which ends up the most repetative thanks to being the name of the song a few times and nothing else. Sadly, this is the way many of the songs are performed, even in "Vulture Culture," which, even though it does stand out for the reasons already mentioned, it can just become boring after a while. Sadly, the only track on this release that has any extensive replay value is the song "Mega-Doom," which is a heavier, faster song that really just changes things around a lot. It features some good guitar work throughout as far as the bridges leading to the main verses go, as well as a killer guitar solo. The song also does speed up near the end and change things up even more as the band seems to delve into a more early Sepultura sound. Vocally, the album is structured differently, and it really works with the song. The chorus is more then just repeatedly shouting the song name, which kills the generic factor as well.
Practically all of that can also be said for the song "Counter Sabotage," even though it does have another simple chorus, but at least this time it's just three words that go along with the flow of the song being shouted instead of just the song name over and over again. While these stand out, you also have the aforementioned "Jeffrey Dahmer" and the early tracks on the release, but only because of the lack of repetition making them just a little more enjoyable. Even "Soulfly VII" is a little boring compared to previous efforts, though this set of tracks have never really been the most amazing Soulfly songs to be recorded. This is really where you would expect some tribal influence to appear, but there's barely any, and like many others on here, it just comes off as more generic, yet upbeat music.
While this is a solid effort by Soulfly as far as the music goes, this time around it's all pretty much boring or generic. Much of the album sounds heavy, but suffers from a lack of creativity as many of the songs do hit you hard with a great intensity, but carries the same mid-tempo pace and monotone vocals. Some of the faster tracks on here will definitely have you coming back for future spins, but after a couple times with this release, you'll find yourself skipping past a lot of the material you don't care too much about, or just looking for something else. If you're a fan of Soulfly you'll get a few more spins out of it, and fans of older Sepultura will find some of the tracks here to be a welcome return to the glory days, but either way, Omen by Soulfly doesn't really offer anything too new or exciting to have you coming back for more.
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