Welcome to another round of All The Time I Was Listening To My Own Wall Of Sound album cover roulette. As will happen every now and then with the blog, I pick an album just based on the cover and nothing else - I have no idea about anything about the band/release at all beforehand. This time I am looking at the second release from Omni Dimensional 'Spherical'. I have to say, whoever designed that cover is a genius - it is such a beautiful image. From what I can read about this band, it is just one man called Joe Yeates who is based in Gloucester; according to his Facebook the band has been going since 2013 and lists bands such as Meshuggah, Architects and Volumes as influences just to name a few. So from those influences, if this is not some crazy assed progressive mathcore metal I will eat my own hair. Let's see if I am going to have a hair burger for my next meal.
Opening "Waves" does indeed start off with the sound of waves gently hitting the shore and then comes some gentle guitar plucking not too dissimilar to the 'Ki' album from Devin Townsend. There is more Devin Townsend influence on this song as it progresses. The style of the drums, the overall playing - it feels very much like the man from Canada. The bells ending the track from a bridge towards "Together" which introduces the Meshuggah mathcore I was expecting (my hair is safe). But once again, I am seeing a lot of Strapping Young Lad in this one as well. The build is very constant and driven. But there is more going on for the listener, more is revealed after each listen and it does start to grow in front of your eyes very gently (in a given sense of the word gentle - it is progressive metal after all). Next is "Bear Pt. 1" which delves deeper into the more off-kilt sounds that can be associated with progressive metal, the main riff is aggressive and actually reminds me of a crazy song called "Accurate Spit Boy" by Robert Logan - that was an electronica noise fest, this track when it starts off has that sense of unpredictability. However, it does get stuck into a groove a bit and then progresses to a more understandable natural high; both route was a possibility at this point and I can see why this one was took. It sounds really good, the guitar playing and looping is of a high standard; I was just hoping it would go mental (but I am a man of strange tastes) and this song is still well played. Following on is "Bear Pt. 2" which starts straight after the final note of "Bear Pt.1" and is the more laid back part of the tune. It is about building up the layers on this tune, taking the original theme and showing them in a different light to a great effect.
The fifth track is called "Awaken" and this is an atmospheric number with deep rumbling synths and a recording of rainfall being the main focus. It feels like a bridging track that Nine Inch Nails use to great effects, but it does not leave that much of an impression to be honest. “Survival” brings the album back to focus with a snarling beast of a song. The guitars sound vicious and primal, the pace methodical and measured. It is a storming number that would go down a storm in a live setting (or even in a club). With over eight minutes, the song stamps it authority over the album, even the middle bridge sounds as if they are just quickly catching their breath before the next (inevitable) assault on the listener. The next track is called “Infinity” and it is another bridging short track; this time the atmosphere is created with a looping guitar riff that sounds a lot better than “Awaken”.
Next we have a three piece number, opening is “Reflect Pt.1” which is more rumbling synths and to be honest this piece could have just as easily been added onto the main section – “Reflect Pt.2”. Because it is another bridging number following after “Infinity”, it sort of seems unnecessary. However, this cannot be levelled at “Reflect Pt.2” which comes out of the blocks fighting. Unlike “Survival” it is a faster paced number; the riffs sound as if they are being dropped like bombs onto the listener for the first section of the song. Then it stops with horns sounding as the synths swirl in the ether. But once again after a few moments, the main riff and assault is back for the listener. When this is done right, it can be incredibly emotional and rewarding – this is done spot on. Ending the album is the third act – “Reflect Pt.3”, this is a slow ambient number to guide the listener down after “Reflect Pt.2”. This is a good ending to the album, with interest guitar playing and atmosphere.
Now this album has some really good moments on it, “Survival”, “Reflect Pt.2” and “Bear Pt.1” really stand out for me and show a true depth in performance from Omni Dimensional; you can feel the passion that has been added to each number and it really adds to the overall experience. However, there are a few too many bridging tracks which could have easily been absorbed by some of the other numbers and it would give it a better finish. This is just my thoughts and it does not change the overall mark of the album. For the prices that are being charged here (£2.49 on his Bandcamp page – bargain), it would be worth purchasing just for the above three tracks alone. Definitely someone to follow in the future.
8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
Top track - Survival
FYI - Omni Dimensional are now offering all of their works for free on their Bandcamp page!
You can purchase the album (and other releases from Omni Dimensional) on the Bandcamp page here
Omni Dimensional are no longer on Amazon, Spotify and other streaming services, but when you can download their work for free from Bandcamp - why would you need them?