Words by James Lavel
After two EP releases, millions of YouTube views, a string of tours with bands such as COG, Between The Buried and Me, Circles and more. Melbourne instrumental prog trio The Omnific are finally set to release their debut LP ‘Escapades’ into the wild on October 8. After what seems like more success than many bands experience throughout an entire career it’s bewildering to think The Omnific are only just now releasing their first LP. Entwined with their impressive musical success, The Omnific have become a well-respected name for gear nerds everywhere with their playthroughs and reviews. The band also holds endorsements from very reputable companies such as Darkglass Electronics, Dingwall, Neural Dsp and SJC Custom Drums. The Omnific have been drip feeding a string of singles from the album since May this year, releasing Wax & Wane, Antecedent (Ft. Clay Gober of Polyphia), Scurryfunge, Ne Plus Ultra and fountainhead all masterfully stoking the flame of desire from hungry fans.
The album opens with the track Antecedent featuring Polyphia’s very own Clay Gober. The track instantly serves up the familiar Omnific bass tones that dig their hooks in deep. It’s a masterfully crafted journey leading you into the album with tasty hooks throughout. It worth noting the level of technical prowess the trio have clearly developed over the past 2 years as it really shines through in this lead track. The second track Wax & Wane presents some beautiful soundscapes created with punchy distorted tones mixed within beautiful harmonics and modulation. The band also explores some more electronic drum sections serving as a point of difference for the track. It’s worth noting the solo in this song is just perfection.
The Labyrinth Chronicles starts with a fun piano jam that would feel at place in an old timey saloon. It doesn’t take long before the melody melds itself with that Darkglass tone quickly exiting the doors. The pacing of this track is a real highlight holding your hand tight until the end. This song gives me vibes of The Devin Townsend Project with the way it builds the epic soundscape behind the technical execution of drums and bass. Scurryfunge is pure tasty hooks served up with absolute precision mixed with some extremely tight drumming. This song has some serious balls, presenting some of the most impressive moments on the album. Dazzling tones, beautiful piano sections, a very cool breakdown section played on a double bass by Joshua Verco and plenty of “holy shit” moments.
Merlin’s Id is the next track. Another very technically impressive track showcasing the trio’s skill. The song follows a little more familiar song structure and to be honest something about it just didn’t seem to have the same magic as the other tracks. The electronic drum section in this song felt a little out of place and the song itself felt to go a little too long. The track is still a great song but just doesn’t seem to stand up to the high bar set by their other work. Matai however quickly feels like a return to form. This song really painted some beautiful images in my head. Sometimes songs can just melt you and carry you to another place. This is certainly one of those tracks, with multiple varied sections all carrying their own feel. One minute you are watching a beautiful sunset, the next the sky is on fire, only to be extinguished before the track wraps up.
The next song on the album is the group’s latest single, Fountainhead. Much like Matai this track is another beautiful journey filled with highs and lows. The tones throughout this song sound almost acoustic at times and really tie the whole thing together. As the song reaches its end it blends into the next track Dwarm carrying you through the next chapter in this album. Tasteful came to mind when I heard this track. For every growling tone and intense beat this band can throw at you, goddamn they know how to round it out with some of the most beautiful tones and soundscapes you have ever heard. Their form holds true entering the next track Ne Plus Ultra, keeping it tasteful and technical. At this point in the album, I was almost unaware where I was. The way they have blended the album from song to song is special and extremely fitting for such a powerful sound.
The final two tracks of the album are Escapades & Posterity. Escapades is only 1:15 in length and feels like a soft recap of everything you have heard so far. Usually, I don’t like tracks that can sometimes feel like filler. However, this track really felt like a necessary step in the album’s journey, a moment to catch your breath before the final act, and what an act it is. Posterity weaves some familiar sounds from the album presenting them in a way that (coupling with Escapades) helps finish the whole package masterfully. This song seems to have it all. The piano and bass work in tandem to create a serious hook that really blew me away. At around the halfway point the beat hits the accelerator and the song launches into a fast-paced ride before kicking back to where it all started and wrapping up on the piano.
Matthew Fackrell, Toby Peterson-Stewart and Jerome Lematua are the masterminds behind this beautiful creation. These guys make it look easy with how they complement each other within the sound scape. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing these guys live in 2019 and I thought they were amazing; little did I know they would continue to blow me away two years later. The album was mixed by Adam Bently and mastered by Ermin Hamidovic (Periphery, Devin Townsend Band).
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