Bad Omens – THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND
Released: February 25, 2022
Noah Sebastian // Vocals
Joakim Karlsson // Guitar, Vox
Nicholas Ruffilo // Bass
Nick Folio // Drums
Like many of us in Australia, our first encounter with the band Bad Omens may have come about a few years back with a little disagreement about a certain font size on a tour poster… The past is in the past and I am here today to prove to you that Bad Omens have not only rectified their past indifferences, but they’ve held their middle fingers high at anyone who has doubted them since.
Towards the end of 2021, the band dropped an absolute fire cracker of a song called ‘ARTIFICIAL SUICIDE‘ which fast made its way into my On Repeat playlist on Spotify and we are 10 weeks later, I’m still loving it like I did upon my first listen. That song alone persuaded me to give their third studio album a review for you and here are my collective thoughts…
From the second ‘CONCRETE JUNGLE‘ starts, the combination of soft vocals with an underlaying synth beat sets the listener up for a unique sound that is present throughout this album. A combination that’s not unfamiliar for metalcore fans with Bring Me The Horizon and Northlane tapping into the EDM/core direction in recent years, the big difference is Bad Omens have gone for a sexy approach (you’ll understand what I mean when you hear this opener. When the heavy section kicks in though, any doubt will be cast away and you’ll get an idea why these guys are set to become hot property in the scene this year. Especially with Joakim Karlsson‘s chuggy riffs!
‘Nowhere To Go’ follows with the tempo increasing but the soft vocals remaining as Noah Sebastian leads us into the song with his impeccable range. While this one favours a harder radio rock vibe, once the band comes together for the start of the third act, we truly see the potential they have as a tight-knit metalcore outfit just waiting to explode. ‘Take Me First‘ is a sexy track, but not in the attractive person kind of way. More so in the way that Jared Leto and 30 Seconds To Mars managed to turn their music into an aural experience, more than just a listening one (as in you feel the instrumentals and the emotion in the delivery). It left me wanting more, and I’m certain it’ll be a great song to listen to over and over again, but I just couldn’t bring myself to hit replay when the title track came on…
‘THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND‘ once again slows things down with Noah’s melodic vocals taking the spotlight surrounded by thumping beats, synth and alluring cleans throughout the intro which gradually lead up to the rest of the band joining in for the final act where’s it’s an all in onslaught on the senses during that breakdown. This anthem shows off Bad Omens‘ full potential and there’s a good reason why it’s already accumulated over 6 million Spotify streams since it came out in November. If you’re a fan of Boston Manor and The Plot In You, you’ll love this. ‘What It Cost‘ comes in with a veil of seduction attached to it complete with electronic sounds, a chilling cello placement and serves as an extended interlude to the single ‘Like A Villain‘ which is is moody as hell and hones in on an emo-esque sound for the lads. The guitars are crisp, yet edgy and the melodic chorus will no doubt become a sing-a-long fav at future shows. There’s a short-yet-sweet breakdown with screams for the heavy fans and Nick Folio’s drumming will keep you nodding along for the entirety of the track.
‘bad decisions‘ strips back all instrumentals for a balladesque experience where the complete focus is on Noah’s deep vocals. It’s got that slow synth-pop feel that you hear on mainstream radio and despite listening to the lyrics, I found myself inattentive throughout. Probably one you’re gonna skip if you’re after a more upbeat offering. ‘Just Pretend‘ follows suit with the slower tempo which changes quick smart when the drums come in and Noah just starts belting the words out. It’s the harder/upbeat moments that personally sell this one for me. When the all-in action starts, you can’t help but draw your attention to what Bad Omens are throwing at you through the speakers. ‘The Grey‘ just came out last week, so it hasn’t had as much time to sink in like previous singles, but is slower tempo allows the focal point to be on the clean vocals and backing synth – which makes it hard for this reviewer to not compare them to The Amity Affliction and their genre-hopping masterpiece Misery. There’s a reason why these two bands SHOULD have toured together. The music they produce sits comfortably within the same arena, but with their own personal attributes and finishing touches. Give it time, this one is a grower.
‘Who Are You‘ and ‘Somebody Else‘ didn’t rate well with me sadly. The moody feels are there, and the synth beats take priority over the other instrumentals which isn’t a bad thing, but they could have just opened up more towards the end to make it a much more fulfilling experience. Not even the little guitar solo could get me over the line, but anyway, it’s not the end of the world, I just reckon they’d have worked as a side project or B-side to the album.
‘IDWT$’ returns us back to our regular scheduled metalcore experience combining upbeat cleans and the all-in band experience complete with a huuuge climactic send-off featuring chuggy riffs, chest thumping basslines and drums-a-plenty. At times, you may be mistaken for thinking you’re listening to BMTH (the chorus especially) but the majority of this bop is all Bad Omens and the last few seconds will no doubt leave you wanting more. Guaranteed you’ll give it a second spin instantly! The futuristic feel of ‘What do you want from me?‘ pays homage to the 80s and wouldn’t be out of place on a sci-fi blockbuster movie soundtrack. Distorted guitars, retro synth/beats and the echo on Noah’s vocals have me wanting to crank out my VHS, snap bands and Fluro clothes. It’s definitely not EDM/rave material, but once again tips the hat to the bands who have dabbled in that EDM/core synth sound that’s become a signature addition to heavy music in recent years.
You ready for this? The big one. The magnum opus. The song that completely won me over is next and like a fine wine, ‘ARTIFICIAL SUICIDE‘ just gets much better with age. It has all your trademark metalcore sounds – a heavy industrial intro, banging drums and guitars that open up making you think you can jump through the nearest wall. Then the screams kick in with an ebb and flowing increase/decrease in speed that is just so fun to scream along – so much so here’s the lyrics so you can:
‘We’re not gonna be a commodity/Not another maggot in the feed that you’re gonna eat/Motherfucker, you can try/Artificial suicide’
Add on top of this, the somewhat spoken pre-chorus is captivating and will have you uncontrollably joining in. I can’t stress this enough, Bad Omens gave their all on this song and I honestly believe it is their best release to date. ‘Miracle‘ is the definition of a fantastic album closer. Following up the best song of your career with something slower, yet just as heavy is ballsy and shows the band aren’t putting all their eggs in one basket (i.e. directing all eyes to one specific song). They’ve strategically organised this album’s tracklisting so it flows smoothly with moments of lust, passion, rage and emotion for the listener and saved two of the best servings for last. The crescendo in ‘Miracle‘ is mind-blowing and needs to be experienced in a quiet, dark place because each member brings a dynamic feature to their performance and the end result gets two very big thumbs up from this reviewer.
In its current state, the metalcore scene is flooded with an overabundance of acts who are all desperately trying to grab your attention through their music. In some cases, it’s love at first blegh! For others, they have to painstakingly make a name for themselves over the years and accumulate a listenership the old-fashioned way – Bad Omens (who fall in this category) have more than proved themselves and their worth with THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND and I honestly cannot commend them enough for their efforts. While it’s not perfect and has its flaws (some filler tracks could have been cut), it will without a doubt remain a genre/scene favourite throughout 2022 and welcome a sea of new fans in the process.
Bad Omens – THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND tracklisting
1. CONCRETE JUNGLE
2. Nowhere To Go
3. Take Me First
4. THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND
5. What It Cost
6. Like A Villain
7. bad decisions
8. Just Pretend
9. The Grey
10. Who are you?
11. Somebody else.
13. What do you want from me?
14. ARTIFICIAL SUICIDE
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