It is becoming more and more apparent with each passing day that the quality of music that can come from a home studio can equal, if not surpass, what professional studios offer. Bands and artists have access to plug-ins and effects that would boggle the mind of the music industry not even a decade ago. Such is the case with unsigned band The Omega Experiment’s self-titled debut album. Built as an outlet for mastermind Dan Wieten’s troubles with addiction, this prog/djent metal album is a slick, fantastic sounding album. But does it have substance behind the glossy mask?
The album opens with The Gift, a six-minute track that mixes gratuitous vocal harmonies with positive, almost joyous heavy guitar riffing. Sprinkles of piano pepper the background, popping forth into the foreground here and there. It’s a perfect song to set the tone for the album.
As the songs progress, the theme of addiction and recovery become more and more apparent. The music becomes more insane and there are voiceovers of, what I can only assume are, frontman Dan Wieten describing his path in and out of drug addiction. The chaotic whirlwind ending of Tranquility dives immediately into the heavily Devin Townsend-inspired track Furor.
The production on this album is top-notch. For an unsigned band to sound this good is pretty much the ultimate slap in the face to the mainstream recording industry. Guitars sound lush, drums sound tight and snappy, and the overall mix is nearly 100% spot on. This is an album that home musicians should look at for inspiration.
The one thing that really stood out to me was the obvious love of Devin Townsend. While I can understand the influence (hell, the man is a musical genius), there were times when the music felt almost derivative rather than homage. I’m hoping that another album will see this band fine tune their own sound.
The Final Word: The Omega Experiment has brought a lot on this self-titled debut. While I’m definitely very impressed, I find that I’m more interested in what the next album will bring.