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Nominon - "Omen" (CD/EP)

Nominon - "Omen" CD/EP cover image

"Omen" track listing:

1. Omen (3:41)
2. Invocations (3:53)
3. Through Dead Dreams Door (5:10)
4. Submit To Evil [Live] (3:21)

Reviewed by on February 3, 2010

"'Omen' really only exists for those who absolutely crave old school death metal in all its forms. There’s nothing innovative or exciting to be heard during the EP’s four teaser tracks, and some of it is honestly just loud noise."

The Swedish death metal brigade Nominon are set to release their fourth full-length album “Monumentomb” soon, and to whet their fan’s appetites they have released a new teaser EP to give a taste of what is to come. Unfortunately “Omen” is more famine than feast, and if the EP is representative of the future of Nominon, the audience may stay hungry for some time yet. Anyone who has heard a death metal release in the last fifteen years has already heard “Omen,” and they’ve probably even heard it done better.

Nominon’s teaser starts off promising as the title track gets down to business with a quick crashing of cymbals and revving guitars building up to some truly evil death metal. There is a quick blast of blasphemous screaming to get the pulses racing, followed by an impressively drawn out, hate-filled growl. The song manages to keep interest running high for about half its run time before the problems start to become apparent.

All four tracks are crushing and heavy, but they also frequently cross the line into actively overbearing, and unfortunately fall prey to many standard death metal pitfalls. The drum job is the biggest culprit, as it doesn’t do anything new or even particularly interesting. “Through Dead Dreams Door” has the worst showing, as the rapid beats are so constant and repetitive they become actively distracting and even annoying. The death growls are also rather uneven, as the departure of the band’s vocalist put Nominon in a position where each of the songs on “Omen” has a different vocalist. “Invocations” particularly suffers in the vocal department, featuring an overblown growl that becomes comedic as it continues to drag on well past its prime.

The final track is a live version of “Submit to Evil,” and it's unnecessary filler at its worst. As a live track, the sound quality is more evil than the lyrics, making the song abrasive in a bad way. It’s never a good sign when the microphone feedback is louder than the guitar. While the song was probably a pummeling death metal experience live, its translation to the EP definitely left something to be desired.

An overall impressive guitar performance is the only thing that keeps “Omen” from being unlistenable. Each track has brief moments where the energy gets ramped up a notch due to a sudden tempo change and some fancy guitar passages. These moments offer a welcome respite from the storm of mediocrity, but they aren’t ever fully incorporated into the music enough to carry an entire song.

“Omen” really only exists for those who absolutely crave old school death metal in all its forms. There’s nothing innovative or exciting to be heard during the EP’s four teaser tracks, and some of it is honestly just loud noise. The disc can only be recommended to serious Nominon fanatics who need something to tide them over before the next full-length’s release.

Highs: Solid guitar work and a few high-energy tempo changes.

Lows: There isn't anything here that hasn't been done a thousand times before.

Bottom line: Run-of-the-mill old school death metal that can only be recommended to absolute Nominon fanatics.

Rated 2.0 out of 5 skulls
2.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)