Bad Omens 'Concrete Jungle (The OST)' Review

Bad Omens 'Concrete Jungle (The OST)' Review

After their extraordinarily successful LP 'The Death of Peace of Mind', Bad Omens had grown an enormous anticipation for their next release. The first two supporting singles - 'V.A.N' featuring Poppy, and 'The Drain' featuring both electronica producer SWARM and HEALTH’s lead singer Jacob Duzsik - hyped up the record that is being served up for us. Being absolutely in love with their last album, I went to listen to 'Concrete Jungle [The OST]' with big expectations, only to be swept away again.  
The opening song - 'C:\Projects\CJOST\BEATDEATH' - sets the record’s beginning to be very haunting. Unsettling, dark, crackling sounds are creeping into the darkness that is followed by aforementioned 'V.A.N'. Poppy’s vocals perfectly intertwine with Bad Omens' signature metalcore drum hits during the choruses. The guitar tones and her screams in the bridge are spooky and powerful, and when you think that it is going to get more intense, she suddenly sweetens the mood with her delicate vocals. 'V.A.N.' is a fantastic elongation for the creepy intro and intensifies the mood for the upcoming songs.  

'The Drain' is also an interesting song as a whole concept. Resampled parts from 'The Death of Peace of Mind' single, add a moody vibe to an already emotional lyrical layer. I adore how Noah’s passionate vocals relate to Jacob’s lower harmonies to create an intense feeling of losing something important from their lives. Noah is once again proving that when it comes to touching songs, he is a world class singer who can deliver his pain through music and make it beautiful. 

'Terms and Conditions' featuring Bob Vylan, and 'Hedonist [Recharged]' featuring Wargasm, are changing the melancholic vibe to a more energetic and upbeat spirit. The first duo, Bob Vylan, adds so many funky rap vocal lines to the seemingly dark lyrics. The up-tempo vibe and energetic instrumentals force you to bop your head back and forth. On the other hand, 'Hedonist [Recharged]' mixes all the best of both British and American metal and rock scenes – great indie rock vocals from Wargasm’s Milkie and once again incredible soft sung voices from Noah Sebastian. However, the cherry on top for this track are the screamed vocals from Sam Matlock that simply punch you inside whether you like it or not.  
The atmosphere slows down again with 'Even'. The soft beginning calms you down and soothes you with softer electronic elements. Tracks like that, allow Noah to shine vocally with his signature voice. I definitely recommend this song while relaxing.  

Moving forward, we get 'Loading Screen' which is an instrumental song, that is a nod to late 90s – early 2000s electronic music and 'Anything > Human' featuring Erra members, JT Cavey and Jesse Cash. The latter is absolutely following the sound Bad Omens is known for. Anthemic, powerful instrumentals with some more dreamy additions from Noah vocally. The memorable points of the song are when the bright and punchy screams are performed by JT Cavey in the bridge and outro. His unclean voice crowns this tune and it ends on a big note.  


Afterwards we return to some electronic, dark instrumental sentiments with 'Digital Footprint'. This almost 5-minute-long song sets you into a trance with its agitating beat and slappy synths. It is a warm-up melody to the 10th track of 'Concrete Jungle [The OST]' - 'Nervous System'. This song starts with seductive vocals from another collaborator on this album – iRis.EXE. 'Nervous System' continues a similar pattern as 'V.A.N.' with how it was written. Strong electronic drumbeats are mixed with gentle vocals that work incredibly well in this case. It leaves you craving more when suddenly another interlude hits - 'C:\Projects\CJOST\FINDPEACE'.  

A big nod to 2010's music vibes is found in the songs 'Artificial Suicide [Unzipped]' and 'The Grey [Unzipped]' in collaboration with musicians from Thousand Below. The first song brings to mind some inspirations from the dubstep scene legends like Skrillex, and the second one is a good old throwback to artists like I See Stars or Attack, Attack. If you are a fan of dubstep-ish sounds and highly pitched vocals - 'The Grey [Unzipped]' will appeal to you.  

For the fans of the previous album – once we are past the dual collaborative effort with Thousand Below, we get more renditions of iconic tunes beloved by Bad Omens’ fans. Tracks 14 and 15 are remixes of Bad Omens’ smash hit – 'The Death of Peace of Mind' - performed by duo We Are Fury and producer So Wylie. Despite these two remixes being vastly different in sound, they complement each other well and create an illusion they were meant to be composed into one. Later, we get a Lo-Fi version of 'Bad Decisions' featuring Dahlia, and the band’s biggest hit in more a pop-sounding version - 'Just Pretend' - in collaboration with Let’s Eat Grandma member, Jenny Hollingworth, and Michael Taylor from Chief.  

'Concrete Jungle [The OST]' wraps up with one final instrumental interlude - 'C:\Projects\CJOST\CLEARMIND' and 8 live versions of 'Artificial Suicide', 'Like a Villain', 'The Grey', 'What Do You Want from Me', 'Nowhere to Go', 'V.A.N', 'The Death of Peace of Mind' and 'Just Pretend'. 

To conclude, Bad Omens’ new album is an unconventional and interesting take on modern music. The 26-track album combines fan favorites in their brand-new forms, as well as having bonus live versions and engaging new tracks that can interest anyone in their art. Something that I praise in their creative process is giving a big platform to less well-known performers and bands, from the monumental artist Poppy, to the iconic duos of Wargasm and Bob Vylan, to smaller but yet catchy newer acts like iRis.EXE or Dahlia. While I feel that the whole album could have been well-rounded within 14 songs, I reckon that the new Bad Omens’ direction is innovative and can appeal differently to people. Everyone can find something attractive within these songs and loop them to their liking. The band still stays powerful in their music and this album brings their creative takes to the next level.