Omega - 'Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun'

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Omega - 'Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun'

A decent enough album, but not one that is going to take the scene by storm.

As I listen to this CD for the umpteenth time there is one overriding thought that keeps coming into my head and that�s, if you played it unannounced to a room full of Rock fans I�m pretty sure they�d all be asking if it�s a new Glenn Hughes album. In places vocalist, Lee Small�s (Shy, Phenomena) voice, delivery and phrasing has an uncanny resemblance to the aforementioned Mr. Hughes, which is also evident on the snippets of the new Shy album I heard recently. Combined with the nature of the material the comparison is frankly undeniable. Okay, in itself that�s not a bad thing and those who have a penchant for this style of music will certainly find more than enough to satisfy their appetite, because what�s here is good; if rather generic for my taste.

Other key protagonists are guitarist Vince O�Regan (Legion, Bob Catley and Alibi, amongst many others) and Ged Rylands (Ten, Contagious) on guitars & keyboards, Andy Pearce (7 Days) and Steve Mercy (Holy Rage) on bass who have produced a solid collection of Hard Rock, bordering on Prog Metal, tunes. As usual Vince O�Regan comes up with some fine riffs and hooks, there�s no denying that the guy can play the guitar. I do like an album with an intro and here an atmospheric synth ushers in the opening number, �The Day the Earth Caught Fire�, which then fairly bursts out the speakers and romps along in fine fashion.

�Fire With Free� opens with a Queensryche style plucked guitar before another pleasing riff kicks in and I�m reminded of Crown of Thorns on this song. The title track has a modern feel to the riff and a hint of Prog Metal on the verses, the modern feel is also evident on the following track, �The Abyss�.

I have to question the production, mastering or transfer of data to the CD on this label because in a similar way, albeit nowhere near as bad, to the recent Paul Sabu album (which is truly shocking) there is distortion on some songs, notably �Pandora�. This is especially evident when listening to it on I-pod. I�ve not encountered this issue with other albums so have to draw the obvious conclusion. �T6� is well constructed with a quieter passage sitting between the heavier sections, providing a nice balance. �Witching Time� provides another flavour, being a slower number with a fine riff and hook whilst �Black Diamonds� moves the gears up again. Can�t say I like the layered vocal on the first part of this song though. �Save� features another strong guitar performance from O�Regan and a super beat before the album closes with the Power Metal-ish �Omega�.

�Journey�� is a decent enough album; but not one that is going to take the scene by storm.

Gary Marshall


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