Forgoing the usual trend to open a power metal album with a symphonic intro, Angra get right down to business with Light of Trancendence. A majestic guitar lead, which echoes Lione's previous band Rhapsody of Fire, opens things up before transitioning into a great dual lead guitar riff atop Bruno Valverde's speedy drumming. While songs elsewhere on the album take more risks and have greater progressive overtones, this is a straight up power metal anthem with fairly simple melodies and bulging guitar leads. A stratospheric chorus allows Lione to show off his impressive vocal range, while pushing triumphant melodies out of the speakers. Sadly the guitar solos are not credited in the album's sleeve notes, but both Bittencourt and Barbosa acquit themselves really well here. A shredding mid-section shows the guitar talent in the band, before a final reprise of the chorus brings the song to a close. Travelers of Time was the first single released from the album a few months ago, and it presents a slightly heavier take on the band's usual sound. A traditional percussive intro gives way to a crunchy riff that forms the basis of the rest of the song. Valverde's drumming is a powerful force here, and his tricky progressive metal beats really add depth to what is otherwise a fairly straight forward song. Another big chorus sees Lione flying, while the verses see him lowering his style to a more gruff bark. Symphonic flourishes involving gothic choirs pop up occasionally to good effect, and a heavy shredded guitar solo atop an almost thrashy drum beat emphasises the song's heavier nature. Bittencourt also takes the lead vocally for a short section towards the end, but Lione then returns for the chorus to perfectly contrast the guitarist's voice. Black Widow's Web is one of my favourites here, and features guest vocals from Alissa White-Gluz (The Agonist; Arch Enemy) and Brazilian pop singer Sandy (who's voice sounds a little like that of former Nightwish frontwoman Anette Olzon). Sandy gets things started with a melancholic intro, before Valverde and bassist Felipe Andreoli create an-almost industrial beat for the verses which sees Lione and White-Gluz trading lines. The latter uses her powerful harsh voice, something not really heard before on an Angra album, which helps to create a really powerful duet. The chorus is more typically Angra however, with soaring melodies that catch on after only a single listen. The mix of heavy and melody is perfect here, and creates a new dynamic for the band. Insania (I wonder if this is about Geoff Tate's brand of wine...) returns to the band's more traditional power metal sound with a rolling drum beat of an intro that soon moves into a quieter verse led by Andreoli's muscular bass tones. Ringing guitar chords add some atmospherics, but on the whole it is the bass that drives things here. That is until the chorus kicks in which makes uses of Lione's soaring vocals once more over a chugging riff. There is less that jumps out here, but the melodies are still strong enough to make this an extremely enjoyable song that ticks all the boxes of what makes a good power metal song.
The Bottom of my Soul sees Bittencourt taking the lead vocally, and he turns in an expressive performance on the pseudo-ballad. The piece starts off acoustically, with jangly guitar chords providing the basic melodies for his breathy vocals. The song does build up, with more metal trappings including big power chords and hard-hitting drums being added in, but the acoustic basis is always present in the mix. This helps the song to feel more relaxed than it is, and effectively makes this the album's first ballad. War Horns is the song that features contributions from Loureiro, and is also the one the band have chosen to film a video for. Overall this is a heavy power metal track with crunchy riffing throughout and a strident drumming performance. It is a song that never really lets up, and the energy is palpable throughout the entire song's length. This includes the soaring chorus, which continues the fast tempos set elsewhere. Lione's urgent vocal wails help to enhance the chorus further, while Loureiro makes his mark on the song with a technical yet fluid guitar solo. It is great to see him adding his talents to this album despite his role as guitarist in Megadeth now taking up so much of his time. Caveman is more of mid-pace piece that has a distinct Dream Theater vibe running through it. The tribal chanting and percussive sections route the song with Angra's homeland, and remind the listener who they are listening to, but quite a few of the riffs sound like something Dream Theater could have written. Lione also sounds a little like an accented James LaBrie at times here, and I wonder if this was a deliberate choice to fit the song's vibe or whether all of the Dream Theater comparisons here are purely coincidental. The chorus in particular has a feeling of the American progressive metal giants, with a strong keyboard lead and AOR-esque vocal melodies - both of which are not in Angra's usual sound bank.
Magic Mirror has a slightly more progressive feel throughout, with a mid-paced tempo that allows the band to do different things. The intro is based around quite technical riffing, but this soon gives way to more of an atmospheric verse that again heavily features Andreoli's bass as a lead instrument. Both Lione and Bittencourt are featured vocally, with the latter adding a few effects-heavy sections to add a slightly spooky feel to compliment Lione's more refined feel. The song picks up the pace somewhat during the guitar solo section, which features plenty of double bass drumming, but soon returns to the more mid-paced feel afterwards for an atmospheric instrumental chug. A piano also makes an appearance to add to the overall atmospherics and adds extra depth to an-already varied piece. The song transitions directly into Always More which is a slower song that also has quite a few ballad traits. Parts of the song have a strong 1980s AOR feel however, which is great for fans of melodic rock like me, and this is not something that Angra have really actively sounded like previously. Bluesy guitar licks mix in well with the atmospheric keyboards, and Lione croons perfectly over the top in a laid back and whimsical way. The chorus picks things up a little, with heavier guitar work and driving symphonic keyboards, but on the whole this song takes on a less-is-more feel. The final moments of the album are taken up with the two-part title track. Ømni - Silence Inside is up first and opens with Middle Eastern-tinged acoustic guitar melodies and strong bass leads before finally exploding into a heavy guitar riff that is augmented with stabs of gothic strings. A wah-heavy guitar solo extends this instrumental intro, before things calm down once more to allow Bittencourt to sing atop some more bluesy guitar lines. Him and Lione share the vocals throughout, with the former singing during the quieter sections and Lione taking off as the song ramps up. The wah-drenched guitar lines from the intro resurface throughout, which creates a slightly haunting sound which permeates through the whole song. The band's heavier sound is also featured heavily here with crunching riffs surfacing often throughout to add some real power to the end of the album. The title track's second part, Ømni - Infinite Nothing, is an instrumental piece that reuses melodies from the first part to create a gorgeous symphonic closing piece that genuinely feels like a piece of classical music. While it might be a bit long for an album outro in truth, it works really well to bring some of the album's melodies together in a different form to round everything out nicely. Overall, Ømni is a real triumph from Angra and it could well be my favourite album from the band yet. Every song here works well for different reasons, and really brings the best out of everyone involved. I hope this album goes on to be a big success for Angra, as this album really deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.
The album was released on 16th February 2018 via earMusic. Below is the band's promotional video for War Horns.