Broken Hope Omen of Disease

Broken Hope Omen of Disease
8
Having been on hiatus for the last 15 years, it's difficult to know what to expect from '90s death metal greats Broken Hope. The Chicago, IL band's last release was 1999's Grotesque Blessings, and while it wasn't as lauded as their 1991 classic, yet underrated, debut, Swamped in Gore, it maintained their traditional sound. They've returned with Omen of Disease (their sixth full-length), which finds original guitarist Jeremy Wagner supported by bassist Shaun Glass (who was with the band from 1995 to 1998), as well as new guitarist Chuck Wepfer and drummer Mike Miczek. However, it's Gorgasm vocalist Damian Leski (replacing the late Joe Ptacek) who makes the biggest impact, changing up the vocal performance to feature much more brutal gurgles. With blast beats, mid-paced rhythms and blazing riffs, Omen of Disease brings back Broken Hope's old school sound, while gore-soaked themes maintain their classic style. But the new vocal style and the incorporation of melodic passages, particularly on "The Docking Dead" and "Give Me the Bottom Half," are pleasantly surprising. Kicking things up a few notches, Wagner and company surpass expectations of what they're capable of. (Century Media)