Death Metal is such a difficult genre to succeed in. Many attempt to climb the slippery slope, but few manage to stick their flagpole at the peak, and Broken Hope are just another one of those hopefuls that are never going to reach the top, despite being on their sixth record. To put it brusquely, Omen of Disease is as generic as the title, consciously attempting to be as fast, gruesome and as inaudible as possible.
One thing they have nailed is the appropriately named introduction, ‘Septic Premonitions’ – we agree, the remaining eleven tracks are pretty septic, so thanks for the warning. The first 20 seconds of ‘Wombs of Horror’ doesn’t sound too bad, with razor sharp riffs and inhumanely fast drumming, but it all goes crashing downhill from the moment the vocals come in. Bands like Job For A Cowboy have had time in the spotlight with similar vocal splurges, but nowadays these noises are heard more frequently in nightclub toilets than they are on interesting music.
The first 25 seconds of the track set the tone for the rest of the record, with plenty of decent instrumentation ruined. Credit has to be given to guitarists Jeremy Wagner and Chuck Wepfer, who somehow manage to squeeze memorable solos into almost anywhere, including the high tempo ‘The Docking Dead’. But that alone doesn’t cut it, and the typicality of it all is too difficult to look beyond.
‘Omen of Disease’ is infested with blistering, comically titled tracks that are so universal among extreme metal. Death Metal can be unleashed brilliantly, but it takes a lot more than blastbeats and untranslatable lyrics to do the job. However, if that’s all you look for, add ‘Omen of Disease’ to your collection – it’s a corker based on that criteria.
Reviewer: Matt Borucki