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Pray U Prey - The Omega Kill

Pray U Prey
The Omega Kill
by Jesse Lacharite at 01 November 2021, 3:55 PM

Time to get acquainted with some crusty blackened grind punk (try sayin' that five times fast).  Pray U Prey hail from Cheltenham England, the coalescing of various other extreme metal bands producing the bastard child of Satan himself.

Let's play a game, I'll go first.  What's merciless, unruly and punishing?  If you guessed Pray U Prey's newest release “The Omega Kill” then that was a pretty good guess.  Vistas of annihilation are laid out before the listener.  The sonic tapestry of blasts and whirling guitar pin you to your seat, the intensity is palpable.  Let's dissect this slice of rotting darkness and get to the putrid meat below.

Let's talk production.  This is weakest point of the release.  I'm not trying to make the implication that there are “serious” problems with how this sounds, it's just…. generic.  Essentially, we have a cross between early ENTOMBED mixed with 90's era NAPALM DEATH.  The guitar sound is flat and wan.  The drums feel a little hollow, lacking any punch.  I can't hear any bass, so I'm not sure there is any.  Unfortunately, it feels like the band were going for a PIG DESTROYER kind of feel, but it isn't quite there.  This recording needed to be heavier and more aggressive to really drive the music home.  The playing is tight, and the instruments all work well within the mix but overall, it kind of falls flat.

Let's get into the music.  The opener “Earth Roulette Wheel” brings the heat.  The band waste no time in asserting their dominance.  The blast section is very reminiscent of NAPALM DEATH's “Fear, Emptiness, Despair”.  This whole release for the most part feels like the logical follow up to that album as they share so many elements in common from their overall sound to the compositions themselves.  “Hidden in Plain Sight” keeps the tempo high and vicious, and before you can even take a breath “Life Within the Reflection” is beating you down.  I like how the boys vary the intensity.  The constant shift between the skank beats to full on blasts is pretty badass.  Every now and again PRAY U PREY drop the speed down to bone crushing breakdowns.  The crushingly heavy grooves make for some decent headbanging, simple enough to catch your ears but heavy enough to keep you engaged.

Veils of the Mind” is the next stand out track on the release.  More thrashy than grinding it's a nice change of pace for the album and another check in the win column for “The Omega Kill”.  Next on tap is the eponymously titled “Instrumental,” I can't tell if the band are messing with us, but it's literally an instrumental with some dialogue layered over top.  There is a great section at the end that totally reminded me of something off FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's “No Place for Disgrace”.

Active Suppression” again see the band dropping licks that are heavier than a mountain, sounds killer.  “The Omega Kill” and “Zero Point Witness” are two more tracks of metal awesomeness.  The gallop section in “The Omega Kill” is particularly juicy, while the grindiness of “Zero Point Witness” is tantamount to getting your skin sandblasted, good times!

The Outro “Reset to Nothing” smothers you one final time with tsunami of blasts and chaotic guitars.  They go full bore, no mercy, no friends, not a care in the world, just sonic destruction.

This is a great release, but it's biggest detraction is its adherence to playing within the boundaries of this sub-genre.  Do they do a credible job?  Yes.  Is it well recorded and chock full of killer riffs?  Yes.  What it lacks is originality.  You can't remake albums that came out in the mid 90's and not bring anything new to the table in 2021.  This whole style of music has been done, a lot.  Therefore, you need to elevate your own game to make hearing it again new and fresh.  Everything is here, from musicianship to songwriting, it's just all been done before.  There isn't anything new or ground-breaking here, just more of the same.  Solid release but considering its lack of real creative flair it's kind of just there.  It's neither standout nor is it bad, just middle of the road.  For fans of Grind, Blackened Thrash or Crust Punk.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  7
Production:  7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Earth Roulette Wheel
2. Hidden in Plain Sight
3. Life Within the Reflection
4. Internal External
5. The Overlay Cracks
6. Living Library
7. Veils of the Mind
8. Instrumental
9. Active Suppression
10. The Omega Kill
11.  Zero Point Witness
12. Reset to Nothing
Lineup:
Shrew - Vocals
Shrub – Bass
Simon – Guitars
Colin - Drums
Record Label: Selfmadegod Records
     


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