REVIEW: Omnibox - "Alpha"

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

AlphaThe debut release of Omnibox, put out by Seattle's industrial/EBM powerhouse ADSR Musicwerks, is promised to be as strong as most other electronica outfit's follow up releases. Most assuredly, Omnibox show themselves to be a definite contender in the genre, with tight arrangements and well-created tracks that are very rare on debut releases. Truth in advertising indeed.

Omnibox are a triplet. Brandon Jerwa on vocals, programming and samples; Mike Lewis on same as above plus guitar; Necee Traillour on keyboards, programming and the occasional vocals to round out the heaviness of the other two. Together they produce some very well-made EBM/ electronica with elements of trance and industrial harkening back to the Kraftwerk era. They create not only dance-floor fillers on their new Alpha debut, but can slow it up and infuse a bit of surrealism into the mix as well.

Alpha is somewhat short, consisting of only seven tracks. One should say six, really, because the opening Effigy begins the CD as an introduction more than a stand alone track. Additionally all the tracks phase one into the other well and with aplomb, and most here are moving numbers that are dance-centric and EBM styled. Ice Age is an exception to this rule, being a slower and laid back piece that would be welcome by the swirly Goths - it wouldn't surprise me if you see a complete change of people on the dance floor going from Dead Religion to Ice Age.

Outer Heaven is a fast paced number with windy vocals and interesting synth-slides. A moving trance-like piece, just under 4 1/2 minutes of acid-laced tripping. Subtle yet powerful guitar riffs round out the sound and give it a heavy edge. Crucified immediately slows down and takes us into an atmospheric surrealistic world that slowly rides into an industrial nightmare. Synthwork and samples here are wonderfully placed and the subtle but strong guitar styles are there in the background adding a grinding punch to the otherwise poppy keyboard melodies. This one drags us along for over eight minutes. Vocals are not as windy-laced as the previous track, instead they're nearly untouched. This adds the only link to reality left as the crucifixion continues.

Dead Religion brings the guitar and metallic style to the forefront. Not one of my favorites here, but definitely one of the top dance floor hits with its tight industrial stomping nature. Then you slow down into Ice Age as I stated previously, and following this Ultron 5 picks up the pace only slightly, moving from the slow BPM into one a bit quicker, lifting us slowly and evenly into the closing Perfect (Digital DNA) track, which closes Alpha on a strong industrial pace - a highlight to the CD.

Omnibox's first CD out the gate, Alpha, is what ADSR promises it to be. A debut release, but you wouldn't know it judging from the makeup. While most bands will gear up to an excellent release with a decent debut and further good releases to culminate in an amazing CD in their future, Omnibox step out the gate already at that culmination. One can only hope that they can find a higher mountain to climb following Alpha so that they can still continue upwards.

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ContactInformation:
E-Mail: omniboxmail@omniboxnet.com
Web: http://www.omniboxnet.com

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