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OMB

Experimental/Post Metal • Israel


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OMB biography
OMB are an experimental progressive metal band from Haifa, Israel, started as a 3 piece project, formed by Or ROZENFELD (Bass, Contrabass), Davidavi DOLEV (Vocals) and Yuval TAMIR (Drums, percussions) and became a 5 piece act at the end of 2009. Initially they performed under the name OF MARBLE'S BLACK within the Israeli metal scene and got positive reviews. Looking for something different, the band changed musical direction and recorded what was to become their debut album (''SwineSong'') between March and June 2012 under the OMB moniker. They recruited old and new friends from different genres to bring their own style of playing into each song.

The album is self-composed, self- arranged and self-produced, with help from Yuval KRAMER (guitars, AMASEFFER, REIGN OF THE ARCHITECT) as sound engineer, and Andre Alvinzi and Jens Bogren (Fascination Street Studios) on mixing and mastering. Subsequently, in late 2012, KRAMER has joined the band on guitars and with the band already working on new material, ''SwineSong'' is released in September 2013 via their new private independent group Ward7. All members of the band play in other projects as well.

Biography adopted from the band's facebook page - edited by aapatsos

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OMB discography


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3.69 | 11 ratings
SwineSong
2013

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OMB Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 SwineSong by OMB album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.69 | 11 ratings

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SwineSong
OMB Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Swinesong' - Omb (8/10)

I can only imagine Omb was born late one evening, when a drunken group of friends asked themselves how many styles of metal and prog they could work into an album and get away with. Had this been a typical group of friends, the idea may have started and stopped that night. However, with members from Reign of the Architect and Amaseffer involved, Omb has been anything but typical from its inception onward. One of the weirdest metal albums I've yet had the pleasure to hear this year, Swinesong is equal parts puzzling and amazing, a seemingly rhapsodic stream of playful ideas that draw in sounds from every corner of prog and metal. Not all of its musical experiments prove to be successful, but for the particularly adventurous listener, the handful of weaker moments are a small price to pay for what is otherwise one of the most memorable progressive metal albums in recent memory.

Omb does for avant-garde metal what Quentin Tarantino did for film: they have taken elements from some of their medium's greatest icons and made them their own. Although overall impressions place Omb in the similar avant-garde school as bands like Subterranean Masquerade and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum , Swinesong summons too many comparisons to comfortably squeeze into a review. In no particular order, Queensryche , uneXpect , Kayo Dot , Helloween , Voivod , Ayreon , Gentle Giant , Devil Doll , Opeth , Iron Maiden and Ennio Morricone are all but a few of the artists that came to mind listening to Swinesong. While the list may not give too specific a description of what Omb are really like musically, it should at least give an indicator how damned varied the album can be as a whole. Within the span of a single track, Omb can shift from folk to thrash and power metal, carnival music, and dissonant fusion. While even the most inept avant-metal band can go for this wildly varied approach, it takes a great band like Omb to do it this smoothly. The astounding variety may be evident while listening, but it doesn't feel forced at all. Stark shifts in style and tone are abundant throughout Swinesong, but at no cost to the musical momentum. Veteran listeners of avant-metal should recall a time when they thought a band had great ideas, but weren't able to tie them together properly. Against all odds, Omb have been able to circumvent this common fault, bringing everything under the sun together and making them work as one. It's a painfully rare feat in this genre to have good flow, and that accomplishment by itself is enough to get me excited about Omb.

Indeed, the flow on Swinesong shouldn't have turned out so well. Even the songs themselves eschew traditional (read: comfortable) structures in exchange for something rhapsodic and consistently adventurous. Even several listens into the album, Swinesong doesn't offer much in the way of a Rosetta stone to unlock the puzzle of the album's structure. Most of these songs unfold as would a theatrical performance, riding the music's emotional ebb and flow, rather than relying on recurring motifs or themes to give the material a sense of completeness. This apparent liberation from traditional form is perhaps the most 'outside the box' characteristic Omb have going for them. Approaching Omb's musical ideas individually, their adventurous experimentation isn't as obvious. The excellent track "A Smaller Dose of Tyranny" comes to mind, a chaotic labyrinth of a song that jumps between genres like a bipolar kangaroo. Somehow, the rhapsodic strain of death, power and thrash metal ideas fuse together into something wholly satisfying and constantly engaging. Throughout the album, this constant challenging of genre boundaries is tied together with a playfulness often sorely lacked by similarly experimental bands. The whimsical, schizophrenic personality of Canadian masters uneXpect comes first to mind, but Omb show more moderation in their display of wackiness.

Especially for a band in the throes of their debut album, Omb demonstrate an impressive level of musicianship and chemistry together, although the musicians' prior band histories doesn't make this fact a surprise. In particular, Omb's vocalist earns top honours for a vocal performance that's as diverse and varied as the styles they play. Davidavi Dolev is a man of one thousand voices, ranging from growls and powerful falsettos to an off-kilter sprechsegang. For the most part, Dolev is able to snuggle into these different deliveries like a musical chameleon; no matter where the music goes, his voice follows without falter. It's pretty incredible to hear such a talented vocalist go across the map like this; his power metal vocals in particular have an insane resonance that could go toe- to-toe with some of the genre's legends. Not all of his styles are so successful however; Dolev's glottal sprechsegang on "Oh Mrs. Wade! You Shouldn't Have!" was probably intended to be comedic or creepy, but it's downright irritating, and kills the otherwise excellent stream of consistency the album had going for it until that point.

For an album that tries so many things at once however, it's a marvel that Swinesong turned out as well as it did. Most of the musical experiments here are a ton of fun, and it's one of the rare cases where an outright rejection of song structure has actually helped the music become more engaging. In short, Omb have started off on an excellent foot, although their constant genre-hopping may have the unfortunate side-effect of limiting their audience. Swinesong is possibly the most exciting metal debut I've heard in a year. In a word, it is unique, and given the current metal standard of emulation over innovation, that trait alone should warrant checking it out.

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 SwineSong by OMB album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.69 | 11 ratings

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SwineSong
OMB Experimental/Post Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars I had heard quite a bit about this band before I came across their music, so was intrigued and very interested when I was sent the album. I have come across a few progressive rock bands from Israel, and they have always produced something out of the ordinary, but having now played this many times all I can say for sure is that these guys have done just that. But the real question is, is it any good? They are doing an awful lot in the space of just one album, so expect metal and lounge and 'straight' prog mixed in with jazz, pop and pretty much anything you can think of, but I kept coming back to the same basic premise, of was I enjoying what I was listening to? There are passages here that are superb, quite breathtaking in their audacity, but there are others where I just kept asking myself 'why?'

To say that I have eclectic tastes is something of an understatement, and I can go from folk to death metal on a whim, I am as happy at a Rick Wakeman solo piano concert as I am at Behemoth, but I just don't 'get' this album. I listen to 'free' improvised jazz and that makes more musical sense to me than this, but I keep thinking that it is probably me that is missing the point here and that there are many others who are going to have very high opinions of this. To my mind it is still a solid 3* album, but I keep having that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I should mark this higher but I just can't bring myself to do so. When it is good it is very good indeed, but to me it misses the mark on too many occasions.

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 SwineSong by OMB album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.69 | 11 ratings

BUY
SwineSong
OMB Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

4 stars Okay, I have officially found the strangest album of the year. I recently received a request to review the debut album from Israeli prog metallers, Omb. This band has some experience, as the members were involved with such bands as Amaseffer and Reign of the Architect. So, these guys are by no means rookies. However, they needed a new and unique sound, and I believe they have achieved that in spades.

Omb is prog metal, yes. However, you don't often find such delicate violin solos, or such extensive use of horns and flutes, within the progressive metal genre. These two elements are also used in unique ways. The horns, for instance, do not serve as an epic climax instrument, but are indeed used regularly, almost as if in place of guitars. I am really impressed with this, as this takes a lot of balls to do this in such a nit-picky genre. Again and again, Omb wowed me with stunningly gentle pieces. However, they also bring the riffage, too. They jam, and they jam hard. The style is very acrobatic, as the time signatures just fly by as the band switches again and again. Yet, unlike some other bands, they do this without losing melody or rhythm! On top of all this, they bring a layer of almost "noir psychedelia", if that makes sense. It pervades every part of this album, from the pervasive use of horns and lonely violin to the nervous whispers and perverted, quivering vocal passages.

Speaking of, I must write separately about the vocalist. Singer Davidavi Dolev has a very difficult voice to describe and to absorb. His vocals are all over the place, sometimes with a bit of whine and sometimes with a deeply disturbing edge to them. He provides some harsh vox too, that are very hoarse. Now, I will admit that his voice is something of a challenge for me. However, I've come to appreciate it; and, when you combine all his various styles, you get something that no one else is doing. That, my friends, is impressive.

This album is interesting on a lyrical side. The album covers so many things, from personality disorders to love to broken promises. It's all over the place really, but I feel that they all share a common core in the raw human experience. I think that's what this album, and Omb themselves, are all about, too. They want to convey the piggish, raw side of life that we often glaze over or ignore. This effort has not been in vain, and is certainly the weirdest musical journey I've taken this year. The chaotic, rough side to the band is completely balanced out by the neo-classical, delicate, controlled side; and I find this to be a perfect representation of the lyrical content, as well. Pick up this album only if you have the guts to sit through an incredibly strange, but fantastically genius, musical pilgrimage through the rough spots of the human experience.

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