Profane Omen: Reset

Finnish metallers dare to stray outside their comfort zone

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It’s initially encouraging to hear the exuberance Profane Omen inject into their Scandinavian brand of melodic metal, the pioneers of which have sounded solid rather than spectacular in recent years.

This fourth effort crackles with twin-guitar harmonies and a righteous thrash stomp but is often guilty of overreaching. Opener The Instigator’s tight riffs set the tone for what’s to come, with Intruder’s slow-burning intro leading into rapid-fire thrash.

The choruses largely stick to simple hooks to make best use of Jules Näveri’s rather weak vocals, though it’s often reminiscent of the radio-friendly tunes of Bullet For My Valentine and Escape The Fate. However, the excellent interplay of Mind The Trap is tainted when the music is completely stripped away, leaving the clean vocals dangerously exposed, and Percules is let down by a chorus that’s beyond the reach of the frontman, which is a shame as the blinding lead breaks deserve more.

However, service is restored with the twin guitars and harsh vocals that greet the short, sharp blasts of The Ego and Incognito, which are the standouts.

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.