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Power of Omens - Rooms of Anguish CD (album) cover


Power of Omens

Progressive Metal

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4 stars Alright, at a 1st listen to R.O.A. I thought to myself "My god , what musical mayhem have we here". At times I could not find the 1. BUT after more and more listens I started to realize what a truly talented bunch of guys this is. The drumming is over the top "progressive" in every way. But be warned, it is also the most busy drumming I have ever heard. The voice can get very high, if thats a sour point for anyone.The last 5 songs are the best (in my opinion) This CD is VERY long. I have heard that they have been compared to early Queensryche. I do not see this, exept in the voice.The music is much more complex.
Report this review (#24868)
Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This record covers the same "problem" that I first had with STEEL PROPHET's "The Goddess Principle" and later with FATES WARNING's "A Pleasant Shade Of Gray": You first think "My God, what was that??", because all you heard when listening to these CDs for the first let's say eight times was pure chaos. A huge brickwall of sounds crumbles onto you. But after taking your time with the album, more and more details are revealed while more and more of the catchy melodies get their way into your brain and won't leave any time soon! Finally, when you know most of the parts by heart, this album becomes a real experience!! So, all you people out there who read this: don't just listen to this CD a few times and then open the trash bin for it - please take your time with it and you'll be surprised what this album has to offer!!
Report this review (#24869)
Posted Sunday, March 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow!!!!!! this Album is very,very great!!!!!"Power Of Omens" from Texas is a very high technical Progressive Metalband with a very good Singer...his voice reminds me on Fredrik Ohlsson from "Veni Domine" and Geoff Tate from "Queensryche"...Great Album with heavy,acoustic and flamenco influences...Masterpeace!!!
Report this review (#24870)
Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Power of Omens are a really small band. Their albums are mainly available from their website. It's a pity, because they put tremendous efforts into those albums. This is highly complex Progressive Metal that can rival the most complex bands of the genre, like Cynic, Watchtower or Spiral Architect. Ironically, that is also a drawback in case of this album, because I think that they went a little over the top here ... on their previous album, they had a better balance between complexity and simple parts.

Musicianship is stellar, and the vocals are outstanding - the singer sounds very much like Geoff Tate in certain passages, great range and volume in the lower registers.

The production is not as good as it should be - but you can't hold that against them, as they are not a full time band, and don't have a big record company to support them.

Report this review (#40120)
Posted Sunday, July 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Trying to summarize a power of omens disc is like trying to climb a mountain. it can be done with great effort and looked back upon with sheer joy. for those unfamilar with the band, power of omens is a highly complex prog metal band that employ a very unique style in terms of chops, ambiance, and just plain old feel. i've heard them described from everything as technical and cold to complex and dynamic. what seperates them from the pack for me is that they "punch" instead of "crunch."

fans of "eyes of the oracle" can sleep better at night as they have continued that style and sound, yet have taken it to another level in terms of melody and atmosphere. in fact, i was a bit stunned at the level of keys employed throughout the disc in both atmosphere and soloing. from the opening notes of "within these words" you will be taken back at how they play off the guitar leads. to further the atmospheric point, the band employs a bombastic feel in their orchestrations. while other prog bands tend to use the beautiful and serene sounds of early composers, poo hit you in the gut with the grandiose themes of wagner. for those unfamilar with the classics, think of the soundtrack to "conan the barbarian." power metal bands should take lessons from then on how to write an intro, especially in the chorus department. the male and female counter melodies (is that a real term?) simply play up the feel to the hilt.

their stylisitic differences from generic prog metal continue to amaze me after repeated listens. there are not many other bands that can blend authentic acoustic flamenco guiar spots seemlessly with a rythm section that does its damnedest to make your head spin.

that leads me to the drumming. alex can stand toe to toe with *anybody* in metal. i don't care if your last name is portnoy or zonder. he rolls so many different beats/tones that i simply cannot keep up. his style is simply "over the top" and i truly believe that it leads to the defintie split on embracing the band. some folks simply cannot take the heat so to speak.

david's guitar playing has continued to evolve to the point that he now has a signature sound that i have yet to hear from any other band. he does not play to the rythm being laid down, but "co-exists" with it in my view. if you can ignore everything around him (and that is hard as [%*!#] to do), then you can truly appreciate the chops he is using. i get as giddy as a school girl when the acoustic bits start as nobody, and i mean nobody, does it as well as he does in our circles. furthermore, his solos tend to bleed instead of shred. that is *exactly* what this style of music needs as it keeps the melody with the insanity.

their new bassist (chris herring) more than holds his own throughout the disc. to me the job of a good bassist is to hold everything together. he does that and more as his grooves cut through some crazy leads at times.

chris salina's vocals have not changed a bit. whether he likes it or not, he is tate jr. his upper register does have a slightly different tone than geoff, but when he drops down to mid and low range, you can forget it. he is the tate's twin from 10 years ago. he also uses the same spoken word and tonal inflections during the chorus work as well. it is simply breathtaking.

it would be too much for me to attempt to do a song by song break down. i could not do the disc justice. however, i have to mention three things:

1. the first two minutes of "as winter falls" strike a chill that i cannot shake. it is a despairingly beautiful intro with acoustics, keys, and salinas being godly.

2. the 20 minute cut, "in the end," is going to take me months to figure out.

3. "only a dream" is the most beautiful ballad i have heard this year.

folks, this is 76 minutes of prog metal heaven. do not miss this one.

Report this review (#63178)
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars POWER OF OMENS play a technical and complex brand of Metal not unlike WATCTOWER, PSYCHOTIC WALTZ or ZERO HOUR. As a matter of fact the singer here is Chris Salina who is ZERO HOUR's present vocalist. I really like Chris' vocals and he also wrote the songs on this one, which are as he says " deep personal beliefs". He also goes on to say he's not imposing these beliefs on anyone, but feels we should express our own beliefs in our own ways : "without allowing anyone else to tell you how to think or act. Live your life, not someone else's." So, much like ZERO HOUR's latest "Specs Of Pictures Burnt Beyond" the lyrics here are extremely well done and full of meaning. In the liner notes the band thanks EVERGREY, PAIN OF SALVATION and SYMPHONY X. The lead guitarist David Gallegos thanks Ron Jarzombek from WATCHTOWER and he mentions a lady who pushed him to do his very best who will forever be his "Silent Cries"(a FATES WARNING song) as she is no longer with us. Now to the music.

"Welcome To My World" opens with the sounds of a man walking and the wind is blowing as he stops and knocks on a door. The door opens slowly as he walks in with the door closing behind him.This is followed by some bombastic orchestration as well as male and female vocals. "With These Words" opens with heavy drums that lead to tribal like drumming as the keys and guitar melodies come and go in short bursts.The vocals are powerful and the keys swirl around the heavy soundscape. "My Best To Be..." has more powerful vocals that remind me of a cross between Tate and Adler. Nice background synths as the sound gets mellow with tribal like drumming again. It changes back to heavy with some good guitar solos. "A Toast To Mankind" opens with keyboard runs and guitar solos. More complex instrumental work and arrangements.The guitar solo is great as a keyboard solo follows right behind it. "As Winter Falls" is a fantastic tune. With the wind blowing like in the opener, haunting vocals, keys and acoustic guitar.The keys continue as the heavy riffs comes in. Great sound !

"The Calm Before The Storm" is an amazing instrumental. Beautiful and intricate Spanish guitar leads the way until half way through the song when the heaviness arrives. "In The End" is over 20 minutes long and has everything in it. Synths, orchestral passages, heavy bass and drums, incredible guitar work and female(Michelle Loose) vocals after 10 minutes that are great. "Only A Dream" is another highlight for me. It's a mellow, relaxing tune that sounds so good. Beautiful guitar and gentle vocals. The guitar melodies 4 minutes in are so soothing. "Rooms Of Anguish" is the title song and final one as well. Intricate guitar to open, cymbals and odd metered drumming follow. Vocals come in as bass and drums create a heavy riff. Guitar solos follow as the sound gets very atmospheric as it all slows down. The lyrics on this title track really speak to me. I believe they are about an experience or dream Chris had, and it's pretty incredible.

Great record ! I think Chris' vocals are even more amazing on ZERO HOUR's latest, and I highly recommend both.

Report this review (#117083)
Posted Sunday, April 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars again 3.5 stars

The second album is from 2002 named Rooms of anguish, is another top class prog metal of the highest complexity. Same line up same attitude as previous album, but now in places they become even more complex and less melodic then on first offer, and the result while is more then ok, is little less catchy the Eyes of the oracle. Is clear that all the all 4 musicians handle very well the instruments, really well, specally David Gallegos the guitarsits in some parts is absolutly kick ass, I wounder how many notes he can play in one second. The rhythmic section is killer. Pieces like A Toast To Mankind with it highly complex arrangenets, keyboards and guitars special, the excellent instrumental The Calm Before The Storm, here all musicins shine not else, very original and enjoyble the spanish guita with the more rougher edgy prog metal parts. All in all I like aswell this album as their first, I prefer their first though being catchier then Rooms of anguish. An unfairly forgotten band that maybe for today listners this type of prog metal sounds date it, when many prog metal acts incorporates in their prog metal music lots of power metal or neo classical elements, Power of Omens even is influenced by bands such as Fates Warning, Queensryche, Psychotic Walts, their music is quite unique and well produced and is 100% pure prog metal with no other genres interfear in their sound. They disbanded in 2005 when the vocalist Chris Salinas will join another top notch prog metal band from USA - Zero Hour.

Report this review (#1004426)
Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | Review Permalink

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