In the same way that Animals As Leaders utilise dual 7 & 8 string guitars that blur the line between bass and guitar…so too The Omnific blurs that same line with actual bass guitars.
I admire that they have not tried to hide that unique bass-guitar sound by covering it in overdrive and fuzz. The group utilize the high end of the guitar so efficiently that the chimey pop and snap is almost up in the standard 6/7 string guitar register of the instruments tonal range. It’s pretty damn cool, no other way to put it.
Musicality Vs Musicianship is one of those highly contentious points of concern for any prog band. It’s a balance between being able to pull off the incredible and make it something you’d actually want to hear. In other words..just because you can doesn’t always mean you should. In the case of The Omnific that’s hard to say. The use of keyboards, synths and stuff do save the ears from a near constant assault of pops, slaps and taps despite how creative their deployment might be. If anything this band will be one of those things I show my muso mates saying ‘hey check this out, it’s really different!’ and I expect a LOT of this Melbourne trio’s appeal will come from that exact novelty. This is not to say the material on Kismet isn’t without other merits, it certainly is and fans of Animals As Leaders/CHON and all that stuff are going to jam the hell out of this.
Highlight song for me was the title track ‘Kismet’ not only for the more melodic passages but also the really locked in djent/syncopated rhythms that connect with the drums. To answer a question you never thought to ask, can you djent without a guitar? Yes. Hard. Listen to this for proof. Also listen to ‘Ersatz’ for further convincing.
Kudos to drummer Jerome for the tasty fills and footwork with make up at least half of the bands attack and ferocity. Even better though is how he pulls it back to let the strings take center stage and in turn, fill the space when it’s required. The team work and to-and-fro between members is essentially the glue that keeps me listening. If it were all tech and noodling, I’d have switched off 2 minutes into the first piece. Luckily there’s lots left to discover and be impressed with.
You probably need to hear this just purely on the basis that it needs to be heard. You may not like it, you may get bored. You may (like me) find yourself wanting more melody and all that… but…as it is…I just heard something I’ve never heard before. THAT is an accomplishment right there.
RIYL: Animals, Chon, TesseracT without guitars…