The Omega Experiment
The Omega Experiment
Every now and then I come across a band so great that I can’t help but wonder why any label would pass on the opportunity to have the act a part of their roster. In the case of The Omega Experiment, I have never before been so absolutely baffled. I don’t know what’s more shocking; the fact that The Omega Experiment’s self titled debut album wasn’t picked up by a label or that—for a debut album produced and released completely DIY—the quality of every aspect of this release is so top-shelf. Do not take it lightly when I say that The Omega Experiment is the best independent progressive metal album I’ve heard in recent memory.
The Omega Experiment start out their recorded music career on a plateau that many bands in similar situations are only able to admire from a distance. The Omega Experiment is a concept album that follows frontman and guitarist Dan Wieten’s life from birth through addiction and new beginnings, and this is reflected in both emotional delivery of lyrics and in the songwriting itself, from the music dancing in reverie in the opener ‘Gift’ to the aggressive and more technical backlash in ‘Furor.‘ The musical tone mirrors the concept as it progresses, which is something many bands don’t reflect with this much success. This is compounded by the fact that The Omega Experiment flows as a continuous experience from beginning to end without pause. They really put all of their cards on the table here, and slaved over crafting this record.
On a stylistic front, The Omega Experiment combines the powerful melodic 80’s rock/metal style of Styx, Journey, and Queensryche with the more modern progressive metal style of Devin Townsend and Dream Theater and does it in a way that is original and refreshing. Dan’s soaring vocals weave beautiful catchy harmonies that, along with keyboard player Ryan Aldridge, create wonderfully epic choruses. The Omega Experiment is ridiculously catchy. The power pop melodic sensibilities make this record completely addictive and will haunt you for weeks—perhaps even months—and it does so without falling into novelty cheesy power metal territory.
While being completely accessible, the record manages to be as complex and deep as it is catchy. Dan and Ryan are quite proficient with their instruments, with plenty of moments of technicality and songwriting that turns The Omega Experiment into a prog nerd’s wet dream. As mentioned previously, The Omega Experiment is a concept record that flows remarkably well with highs and lows to match the story, and as the record continues, technical and more abstract musicianship pops up and alludes to drug abuse within the story. It goes without saying that we’re all happy about Dan’s recovery, but his past experience worked in his favor here as he reflects this part of his life in the intensity of the music. Just listen to how ‘Tranquility‘ transforms into ‘Furor.’ The thematic execution is absolutely flawless.
The production is something worth noting as well. The overall quality of this record is pristine, and it didn’t come from an expensive rig or studio—Dan managed to polish this record without the use of an expensive Axe-FX or even studio monitors. This album was recorded with software and mixed through referencing the sound across headphones, computer, and car speakers. The record was also mastered by Acle Kahney of Tesseract, but as they say, you can’t polish a turd, so there’s something to be said about Dan’s ingenuity and dedication to his craft for making The Omega Experiment sound like an expensively produced record.
The Omega Experiment is no doubt a work of art and is a record that is deserving of praise and support. For this album to not make it on my top 20 list of 2012, the music industry had better be on its toes, which clearly isn’t the case as a band as brilliant as this remains unsigned. Come this Valentine’s Day, you’ll be sure to have something to fall in love with when The Omega Experiment drops. This will be one of the best releases of the year.
Furor (Karma EP Version)
The Omega Experiment – The Omega Experiment gets…