Thomas Borboa- Guitar
Ryan Cano- Guitar
Andrew Slane- Drums
Calvan Christ- Bass
Clay Nevels- Vocals
review by Jacob Ray
I, Omega is a progressive metal band, in the same vein as bands like Protest The Hero and Periphery, out of Los Angeles, California. They are releasing their first EP entitled The Ravenous on May 15th, 2012 via Bullet Tooth records. The band has been playing a ton of shows all over Southern California and are really excited to be working with Bullet Tooth. The bands mission is to play technically proficient metal that is at the same time digestible and widely accessible.
5. The Ravenous
Whenever I hear the term “progressive metal” I get a little nervous. I think that I will hear super long guitar solos, even longer and more unnecessary synthesizer parts, and too much focus on things like wacky time signatures that, as someone who isn’t a musician, I just can’t bring myself to care about. The one band from the prog- metal genre that I have always really liked is Protest The Hero, so I was really excited when I saw that Protest The Hero was cited as an influence for the new I, Omega EP The Ravenous.
The Ravenous sounds nothing like a debut EP. “Butcher”s, the opening track, introduces the listener to a band that is already very comfortable with their sound. I, Omega’s vocalist, Clay Clevens, kind of sounds like a hybrid of Trevor Phipps (Unearth), Josh McManness (formerly of August Burns Red) and Rody Walker (Protest The Hero). He boasts a really impressive range and balances his clean vocals and his screaming very well.
The second song, “Cannibals” made me do a double take. It is really fucking good. The opening riff is coupled with some insane drum fills and it kind of reminds me of early Avenged Sevenfold, but in a good way. There is a breakdown in this song, but I, Omega reminds us that breakdowns can actually still be good and surprising if the breakdown is not the entire focus of the song. In this way, I, Omega sets themselves apart from many of their contemporaries in the metal scene.
I can see people who are really into bands like I See Stars enjoying the song “Heretics” because it is super heavy and the chorus is kind of danceable in a way, but not in a corny obnoxious way that would turn off people who don’t like that kind of electro-fused metal (like myself). The fact that I, Omega can achieve this effect without a sweet dubstep breakdown (I would like my sarcasm to be noted) is another example of them being able to fit into the metal genre without giving into some of the shitty trends that are present in the metal today.
The best example on The Ravenous of I,Omega balancing heavy and technical metal parts and less heavy, poppy parts is the fourth song, “Martyrs”. This song has some of my favorite guitar parts on the album, including the guitar solo, which is awesome. The bass part on this song is also pretty great, and the impressiveness of this song is amplified by the fact that this is I, Omega’s first release. They sound too well polished instrumentally to be a new band.
I’ve always liked listening to debut EP’s. EP’s force a band to show you everything about them in 5 songs. I, Omega does exactly that. The Ravenous shows that they can utilize a good variety of sounds, and utilize them well. You probably noticed that I compared I, Omega to a lot of different bands during the review, and I did that because I believe that this band can appeal to a wide variety people who listen to a wide variety of sub genres. The thing that I respect about this band the most is that they play metal that is modern and relevant, while still retaining the integrity not to adopt some of the horrible trends that are out there. If that can be said about a band after one EP, that’s pretty damn impressive. Due to their accessibility and the quality of The Ravenous, I can’t wait to see what I, Omega does in the future.