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The Omniclasm

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The Omniclasm
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: April 14th, 2017
Label: Independent
Genre: Thrash
1. Weapons Hot
2. Lich King V: Stalemate
3. Preschool Cesspool
6. Crossover Songs Are Too Damn Short
7. Take The Paycheck
8. Civilization
9. Offense
10. Lich King VI: The Omniclasm

Review by Greg on December 28, 2023.

During this seemingly endless wait for their fifth album, Lich King had been working in order to accomplish an arduous task, namely giving a worthy follow-up to their astonishing Born of the Bomb (2012). That album displayed some signs of brilliance within a collection of really solid songs, and with a certain degree of memorability which represented the true surprise to me; no wonder I started to dig up their music because of it. The band really squared the circle with that one, so expecting another album on the same path seemed legit. But the guys had to face some line-up changes, and arguably had no hurry to make some new music, so the fans had to wait until 2017 for this new The Omniclasm. What can we say now?

Well, labeling it as a Born of the Bomb Part II may be a safe statement, but it isn't so far from the truth (note that this isn't necessarily a fault)... ten tracks, a short instrumental at the beginning, a more complex song, and the punctual episode of the saga dedicated to the Lich King himself at the end. A formula that works, if anything. This last fact, however, is a bit imprecise since the band decided to break their habit and inserted also the 6th chapter of the story in the fifth album, possibly because the 5th had been already heard by almost everyone, I guess. Now I can start wondering if there will actually be a 'Lich King VII: Whatever', since the whole universe has been apparently destroyed on this one...

Anyway, it's more or less the same affair, so, while not reaching the awesomeness of its illustrious predecessor, it's surely a step in the right direction, and most of all doesn't break the good momentum of the band. A plus is that the mix of this album is heavier than a truck! The addition of the talented Mike Dreher (also in Condition Critical) led the band to raise the volume of the bass a lot, and he has several good moments on this album. 'Lich King V: Stalemate' still remains one of the best songs here, even after three and a half years since its inception, possibly with a remark on the new vocal re-recording done by a surprisingly great Tom Martin, which modifies that insane scream I really loved on the single version.

But there are some good opponents anyway: 'Cut the Shit' is introduced by a highly catchy riff, and has an overall great pace, supported by captivating bass lines and a great solo, as well as the band's trademark sarcastic lyrics. The following 'Our Time to Riot' faces more serious topics of revolt against the rich employers, all with a truly memorable chorus and another explosive ending. Brian Westbrook definitely steals the scene on these tracks, as well as in the last couple of tracks: especially 'Offense' contains another 'Fan Massacre'-esque solo courtesy of newcomer Nick Timney, and is also notable for its lyrics taking a stance against LGBT oppression ('I'm offended that you/Think I should be embarrassed of whom I love or what I am') – confirming Lich King's position as one of the most sensitive acts with regard to the social issues topic. On the opposite end of the spectrum we find 'Civilization', nearly instrumental (and its few words are rather enigmatic) and blessed with a keyboard section courtesy of the man himself, as tasteful as it was unexpected, more reminiscent of Deep Purple than anything else.

But I cannot close this review without giving praise to the cover of the classic 'Eternal Nightmare' by Vio-lence: nearly everything is perfectly executed, from the schizophrenic drumming of Perry Strickland to the immortal main riff of the song. Tom Martin is still good, though Sean Killian's voice is nearly impossible to reproduce – okay, I think Jose Barrales of Bonded by Blood is laughing at this last sentence. It should definitely have been included on the CD version, maybe leaving out 'Preschool Cesspool' (with Rob Pellegri returning for a guest performance), the only song that didn't particularly convince me, or switching seats with 'Crossover Songs Are Too Damn Short', which would have fitted better the 'bonus track' role.

After all, another solid album by Lich King, the third in a row. The band played a safe game this time, in a certain way, and they still delivered powerful, funny music without departing too much from the road previously laid by themselves. If they decide that this formula will fit also the next album, surely I won't have too much to complain about.

All Hail the Lich King!

Rating: 8.4 out of 10