After a three-year wait, Bad Omens are back with their second album, ‘Finding God Before God Finds Me’. There’s plenty of buzz around the Virginia four-piece, and they’ll be wanting to build on it for sure.
We open with the atmospheric ‘Kingdom Of Cards’. Starting off with some multi-layered vocals, the song builds slightly, featuring dramatic percussion, as well as some interesting vocal hooks.
‘Running In Circles’ could be described as modern metalcore 101, but there’s still a hint of synths and string sounds that are present. At this point, whatever your opinion on the record, there’s clearly a strong level of ambition on display here. This song also ends with a coda assisted by an acoustic guitar and strings, showcasing their varied sonic palette further; the use of other instruments was hinted at on their debut self-titled LP, but there’s much more emphasis on it here.
However, the most obvious drawback is that ‘Finding God Before God Finds Me’ is very indebted to established bands. The Bring Me The Horizon effect is certainly in the air still; even if ‘The Hell I Overcame’ is fine enough, it sounds very much like the ‘Throne’ in places.
Thankfully, the band are more than capable of switching things up a bit. ‘Dethrone’ is far more intense and in-your-face than what’s come before. It offers a welcome slab of aggression along with a catchy chorus at the same time. No doubt this is the album’s strongest offering.
The record unfortunately tails off slightly in the second half, though. ‘Mercy’, whilst well-executed, is also incredibly indebted to Bring Me The Horizon as well. ‘Said & Done’ also feels all too familiar, and the same can be said for ‘Burning Out’, even if it has a decent chorus. Vocalist Noah Sebastian‘s rasp is definitely a driving factor in many of these songs, but his clean vocals are also similar to that of (you guessed it) Oliver Sykes.
Closer ‘If I’m There’ is a little on the saccharine and cheesy side too, but there’s enough variation on the record for it to be an intriguing listen on the whole. And, to Bad Omens‘ credit, it comes off as very coherent for the most part, especially when many other bands try this sort of thing and it sounds even more generic or ham-fisted.
At worst, this record feels a bit too over-familiar, but Bad Omens have shown plenty of ambition and incorporated enough left-field influences on ‘Finding God Before God Finds Me’, and there are moments here that suggest they could take this sound to even greater heights on future releases.