Broken Hope: Omen Of Disease

Chicago’s resurrected Death veterans keep it sick

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Unsung heroes of the early 90s brutal death firmament, Broken Hope have long been a name to send shivers of excitement down the spine of diehard extremists.

Their return after an arduous, 14-year hiatus is hugely welcome, not just because Omen Of Disease continues the Chicago crew’s grand tradition of saluting and sustaining their genre’s integral sonic values but also because there are few bands that play death metal with this much ferocity and with so many lacerating hooks deftly woven into the expected tapestry of blasts and growls.

They also have a knack for sourcing brilliantly twisted samples, exemplified here by a gloriously warped conversation between members of a cannibal family on the exquisitely grotesque Rendered Into Lard.

Elsewhere, on the short, sharp knife to the guts of Ghastly, Give Me The Bottom Half’s mid-paced tidal wave of boiling sonic sewage and the sledgehammer grooves and dizzying kick-drum haymaker flurries of its title track, Omen Of Disease manages to be both a masterclass in streamlined brutality and a gauntlet thrown haughtily at the feet of today’s aspiring death metal kids. Vicious, vivacious and utterly remorseless: this is how you fucking do it.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.