The Power of One is the latest release from Vancouver-based progressive rock/metal band OmnisighT. Musically, the album has an overall classic ’80s/’90s sound that is melodic with big hooks and technical guitar solos.
The album’s strength lies in the band’s ability to diversify the style and sound of each song while maintaining a cohesive overall sound. The riffs in Shift the Paradigm and Seven Sisters tend to have a classic metal sound, while Resistance features heavy, downtuned riffs influenced by modern metal styles. The cohesiveness comes from the interplay of straight melodic sections with more heavily syncopated sections and the layering of straight melodies over accompaniments based on syncopations and hemiola.
The virtuosity of these performers is perhaps most evident on my favorite track from the album, Fall of the Empire. This seven-minute instrumental track is a microcosm of all that makes the guitar work on this album so interesting: the crunchy riffs, the technical-yet-lyrical melodic playing, the harmonised dual leads, and the interjection of occasional straight-up shredding. Most importantly, it maintains interest and momentum throughout.
In my opinion, Seven Sisters is the weakest song on the album because it is about twice as long as it should be. I know it is silly to complain about long songs with progressive rock, but this one just feels like it goes on too long. The bulk of the song, the entire lyric, fills the first two and a half minutes, then after an instrumental interlude, there is a reprise of the chorus and the last two minutes of the song is another instrumental section that just stops abruptly. If it was transitioning into the next song or had some sense of direction then I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but as it is, I kept waiting for an arrival that never happened.
Lyrically, the album is centered around the concept of changing the status quo and flipping the script on an oppressive ruling class. Shift the Paradigm is a warning, a statement of purpose;
No more wading in this mediocrity.
It’s too late for you now,
I’m coming to take you away.”
It all culminates in the final track, Power of One, that seems to be saying that despite the hopeless feeling that it is just one person against “the machine,” all our individual resistance creates a unified force that strikes fear into the hearts of the oppressors. It is not “one,” but “One.”
If I have a criticism of this album, it is the vocal style. It is not that Raj Krishna’s vocals are poor quality, they just seem better suited to a different musical style. It may just be a personal preference on my part, but the vocals on this album do not really connect with me.
Overall, this is an excellent album. The music is technical without losing its groove. I wish it were longer than five songs, but this may well be a case where a longer album would either dilute the message the band was trying to present or change the tone from an encouraging exhortation into badgering. All in all, I think the best way to summarize my thoughts on this album is to borrow the band’s own words: “Heavy music with a positive message and serious musicianship.”
01. Shift The Paradigm (5:24)
02. Resistance (4:51)
03. Seven Sisters (6:32)
04. Fall Of The Empire (7:04)
05. The Power Of One (7:11)
Total Time – 31:02
Raj Krishna – Lead Vocals, Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Blake Rurik – Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Dave Shannon – Bass, Backing Vocals
Chris Warunki – Drums
Record Label: n/a
Country of Origin: Canada
Date of Release: 20th January 2017