Power of Omens - _Eyes of the Oracle_
by: Brian Meloon (
Power of Omens are from San Antonio, Texas (USA), and play a dark style of progmetal. All of the standard progmetal elements are here: a Geoff Tate-ish vocalist (who is quite good), long songs with long instrumental sections, keyboard solos, the obligatory Dream Theater (_When Dream and Day Unite_ era) and Queensryche references, etc. However, one element that sets Power of Omens apart is the darkness of their music. The tone is more like _Operation: Mindcrime_ or Vauxdvihl than happier bands like Altura and Shadow Gallery. There are some happier moments, but the overall tone is dark. Their style is moderately diverse: the album retains a consistent sound, but still manages to throw in enough different material to avoid getting monotonous. In particular, the almost-20-minute "Test of Wills" offers many interesting stylistic changes and some excellent development. The songs generally flow very well; it's clear that the band put a lot of effort into arranging the songs, and they're far above other bands in their genre in this respect. The music frequently uses keyboards for added atmosphere, but also for the countermelodies and the occasional solo. The drumming is very good, although a little more complex than the music seems to deserve, but his playing is very solid and quite interesting. The guitar work is excellent; it's melodic, precise, agile, and even occasionally flashy. The bass work is quite good as well, showing a higher profile than usual: he takes a few fills here and there and keeps up during the fast parts. While the production could be a little stronger, it's at least clear, and all of the intricacies of the music are audible. Overall, this is an excellent debut, if not terribly original, and I look forward to future releases from this band.
Contact: WWW: http://members.xoom.com/PowerOfOmens/
(article published 2/13/1999)
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