Metal Bulletin Zine (est. 2006) is a metal music zine (Seattle region), online and on paper. 160 issues so far.
online pdfs available at www.fuglymaniacs.com
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Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Dominion Of Misery
label: Unique Leader
release: 26 February 2016
Years ago this publication received the band's first EP simply titled "Omnihility" (2010), which was a very impressive early work showing the high level of commitment to playing technical brutal death metal. As the years have passed the band continues on chosen the path, taking the sound in slightly different directions while staying close to the promise that they made with said EP. Three albums in, I feel like they are really getting more comfortable, more secure in their craft. The music still is blazing fast blasting mania like there's no tomorrow, but the band sounds less afraid, less concerned with the goal of being the fastest, most brutal band that has ever existed. They play metal at warp speed, but earlier in the history of the band you would have been forgiven for thinking that Omnihility wanted to beat up Origin and take their lunch money.
Now the band is showing that they write songs that are a bit easier to understand. You don't have to have an advanced degree from the University of Technical Metal to get the songs. It's not easy being Omnihility. You can play fast and do all that tech-metal 24/7, but can you write songs that people can remember? Even though Omnihility has not changed its style, there is--dare I say it?!--a vibe that the songs can be assimilated more easily. I would tell you this. I know that the terms "tech-metal" often means bands trying to combine jazz with metal, emo with metal, core with metal and other combinations that some headbangers really hate. This band is not anything like that. It's real metal, intense, skillfully-played blasting metal. The first listen will sound eye-blindingly fast, as usual, but repeated listens will show some segments of catchier riffs, a bit of melody, some moments of breathing room, and other traits that demonstrate that the band means business, that they are aware that the objective is to have good songs. Showmanship is great and all, but I want songs, too.
The album sounds professional and clear. I feel like the album sounds like a rather accurate picture of what the band can do, that they can play this material live and pull it off. It's not a messy recording with all types of samples, spoken parts, robotic voices, industrial tomfoolery and other nonsense. Of course, the vocals are low and gruff, and there is not much in the way of variety on that score. The vocals kind of appear as another form of percussion, not as the centerpiece of the band as it is in more traditional forms of metal.
Many people seem to consider Origin the kings of this style, and I am not here to get into arguments about those issues. However, there are other bands that are working hard at making recordings that reflect a serious commitment, a desire to do recordings that can go toe to toe with the top dogs of the genre. Omnihility is a fine, fine example of the some of the best that this genre has to offer to fanatics into the more serious forms of extremity and dexterity in this particular craft.