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HARDWARES

BROKEN HOPE

Omen Of Disease

(Century Media Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 6.0

Despite existing in the heyday of the early nineties death metal scene, Chicago’s BROKEN HOPE never achieved more than a small regional cult status. Omen Of Disease is the band’s sixth full-length release and its first new recording since 1999’s Grotesque Blessings. Unfortunately, Omen Of Disease gets off to a bad start with a meaningless intro consisting of annoying rhythmic patterns and effects. The following 12 tracks combine indecipherable, gurgling vocals with clichéd, gore-filled lyrics set to generic, wanna-be CANNIBAL CORPSE riffs. Some well-played guitar solos, consisting of a full gamut of sweeps, arpeggios, dive-bombs and pinched harmonics, spice things up just a bit.

Original Broken Hope vocalist Joe Ptacek passed away in 2010 and new throatman Damian “Tom” Leski mostly uses his voice as an instrument. But it lacks direction and strong pronunciation. While reading along to the lyrics, if you glance up for just a moment, you’ll lose your place and won’t be able to follow the rest of the song because Leski’s vocal delivery is so ridiculously hard to understand.

The maniacally-paced ‘Rendered Into Lard’ concludes with a silly and annoying humor segment about a cannibalistic family of hillbillies giving its blessings before dinner. ’Gastly,’ with its mid-paced chugging riffs and vivid lyrics undoubtedly describes the wretched character on the amazingly-rendered CD cover by well-known metal artist Wes Benscoter (SLAYER, CATTLE DECAPITATION, AUTOPSY, KREATOR). Although CD closer ‘Incinerated (2013 redux)’ is bolstered by a better production, it fails in comparison to the original version off the band’s 1991 debut, Swamped In Gore.

Omen Of Disease is an average and uninspired comeback album that doesn’t push any significant musical boundaries. However, if you’re a fan of simple, straightforward but effective death metal, then this will suffice.




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