Angra - Ømni
Progressive Power Metal
11 songs (1:00:57)
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

After loving 2015's Secret Garden, it's something of a disappointment to find that while Ømni is a very good album in its own right, it's just not up to the high mark set by its predecessor. Part of this is down to the fact that it's a concept album that doesn't quite fit together as well as intended, songs working well together but the album lacking flow - part is also simply that the songwriting itself is less good, with nothing as impressive or catchy as previous album cuts like Newborn Me. Also worth mentioning is the departure of longtime guitarist Kiko Loureiro to join Megadeth; he is still a member of the band (as far as I can tell) but only appears on one track here, War Horns, which is fittingly terrific, opening with ominous spoken word and leading to an uplifting power metal anthem, driven along well by ex-Rhapsody of Fire and current Vision Divine singer Fabio Leone (who joined the band as Edu Falaschi's replacement in 2013). He is ridiculously, gloriously over-the-top even as power metal singers go, but the genre has always thrived on a little self-aware ridiculousness and Leone is undeniably a powerful, unique singer who enhances the material here well.

Sadly, not every guest present does the same. Black Widow's Web features both Brazilian pop icon Sandy, who opens the song with clean singing and is fine, and current Arch Enemy frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz who provides harsh growls and sounds completely out of place alongside Leone. She can't help but bring the song down a little, which is a shame as there's a solid power metal foundation under it. Nothing against Ms White-Gluz (Arch Enemy have done nothing for me in the last decade or so but I did enjoy her time with The Agonist) but I'd have been happier without her here at all. Fortunately it's one of the few criticisms I have, and there's plenty to praise elsewhere. Songwriting may not be up to past glories but it's more than solid; the likes of opener Light of Transcendence providing near-perfect widdly power-prog and the band's signature Brazilian folk percussion underpins Travellers of Time, which is closer to prog-power! Insania has a mid-period Edguy feel, and inevitable ballads The Bottom of my Soul and Always More are as big and impactful as you'd expect.

Yet as ever, Angra are at their best when being most progressive, and the likes of Caveman here are excellent, the band indulging their guitarists initially with some odd bendy riffs before going full folk with gang shouts and percussion, leading to an interesting and lengthy instrumental section before bringing it home with another giant chorus from Leone. Magic Mirror is the closest present to a Dream Theater-esque track (that comparison coming far less frequently here than it did with Secret Garden) a rather forgettable prog metal seven minuter that takes a little time to get going but is soon galloping along alongside well-placed orchestration. The album ends with double title tracks, the eight-minute Ømni - Silence Inside opening with a slow acoustic build atop more folky percussion that leads to muscular riffing and a more restrained yet still impressive vocal performance from Leone and guitarist Rafael Bittencourt; the song initially has a curious laid-back feeling, never speeding beyond a mid-paced tempo. It changes that in the second half with a touch more epic feeling and a speeding-up to something closer to power metal gear, but this is definitely a grower that rewards repeated listens. You'd expect the following Ømni - Infinite Nothing to lead straight on, but it's instead completely different, an orchestral instrumental that ends the album well enough but feels like something of a missed opportunity to really push the boat out. Disappointing, then, but Ømni has plenty of meat on the bone for fans.

Killing Songs :
Travellers of Time, Insania, War Horns, Caveman, Ømni - Silence Inside
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Angra that we have reviewed:
Angra - Holy Live reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Angra - Freedom Call reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Angra - Secret Garden reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Angra - Aqua reviewed by Kyle and quoted 92 / 100
Angra - Holy Land reviewed by Kyle and quoted 94 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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