In the Shadow of the Cross
posted on 4/2011 By:
Hailing from Tijuana, Mexico, Omision has been around in various incarnations off and on since about 1993, having unleashed only a few demos prior to In The Shadow of the Cross, their first full-length release. The music within The Shadow shows Omision to be a fairly competent enough foursome that plays a straightforward, no frills and quite primitive style of death metal. While they claim to be waving the flag o’ metal in the name of bands such as Terrorizor and Possessed, their more violent moments will remind of early Entombed with some thrashier moments of rawness much in the vein of early Sepultura, and when they do decide to slow down to a rumble, a band like Obituary tends to come to mind.
Comprised of eleven tracks clocking in at roughly forty minutes, In The Shadow Of The Cross starts with the title track, and it’s apparent right from the get-go that Omision’s songwriting approach is minimalist in nature, yet what they forsake in technicality they more than make up for in the aggression department. The majority of the material is forceful in velocity with a plethora of tremolo-picked sections, but they do tend to change the pace up enough to slower, chunkier moments, so as to not over-indulge the listener with non-stop intensity. The tempo change midway through the aforementioned title-track is a great example of this, and they do it again about a minute or so into the follow-up track, “Your God”. It’s a solid enough one-two punch that is unfortunately forgotten once “Won’t Be Saved” follows, which is an unwelcome exercise in repetition that sees the same damn chord progression played three different ways for much of the song, indicating the first sign of the mediocrity to come.
From there the creativity is pretty hit or miss, and there’s just not a whole lot of distinction from track to track. Along with the first two cuts, the furiously pummeling, Morbid Angel-tinged “Pray” works well, again with a powerful transition to a lurching crawl. “Assault in the Vatican” has some decently delivered acoustic strumming underneath some lumbering riffage that adds a warm feel to a rather simplistic passage. Yet outside of that, the rest is mostly filler involving more overly repetitious sections, and quite honestly, beginner riffs that are just too damn familiar, as in "yes, I’ve heard these somewhere before." Vocally, you get the standard low-end roar of lead throat/guitarist Heriberto Pérez, and overall his performance is one of the album’s better qualities. Think of him as a mixture of David Vincent, Johan Hegg and maybe even a little Peter Tägtgren for good measure.
When all is said and done, Omision has a bit to work with here, and there’s no doubt they have the chops to play this shit, so now it’s all about manufacturing something that possesses the powerful and creative aesthetic needed to contend with other acts plying this style. Sure the idea to release music of this nature so many years after its inception can be admirable, but without the songwriting chops and the ability to execute with conviction, you’re left with a somewhat flaccid album that doesn’t come close to contending with its peers. In The Shadow of the Cross, while worthy in effort, falls squarely in with the pack of death metal mediocrity sadly flooding our scene today.
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