Christopher Johnson - Hard Look

Hard Look’s ‘Omnexus Redux’ Carves its Own Path — Album Review

Hard Look is an industrial deathcore artist who does not care about current music trends. The main architect, Christopher Johnson, would much rather carve his own path, break down boundaries, and infuse the audience with a positive message.

“Omnexus Redux,” is Hard Look’s debut album on Broken Curfew Records, remastering their self-released EP, “Omnexus,” and adding a few songs for extra flavor. Although the original album was only released in July, this new version feels like a step up from where we left off.

“Beyond The Eye,” begins with a light piano medley, pushing the audience into a gothic mood before shoving us face-first into wailing guitars and harsh vocals. The lyrics warn that our eyes rarely see the bigger picture because man only looks at the outside — while evil resides within.

No man can know what is inside another’s heart, but there is someone greater who does. The song ends in guttural screams before fading into black.

Christopher Johnson - Hard Look
Christopher Johnson – Hard Look

“Roots Like Veins,” kicks in the heavy industrial vibe, reminding us of the early days of Fear Factory. Instead of giving us a bleak view of the world from Burton C Bell’s dystopian mind, the artist explains the beauty of mankind — God’s perfect design.

It’s easy to look at the evil doings of men and think this world truly has nothing to offer, but never forget that we were made for something much greater. Although the sound is brutal, Christopher Johnson’s message within the song is pure.

The album’s vibe is shortly interrupted by the required instrumental track, “Pneuma.” It seems like every EP since Nine Inch Nails, Broken  has featured a wordless track, emphasizing the instruments instead of the vocals. Typically, these tracks seem like space fillers, and “Pneuma,” feels no different.

Christopher Johnson - Hard Look
Christopher Johnson – Hard Look

Hard Look quickly regains their focus when launching into possibly the best song since their inception, “Vampires Among Us.”

The vocals come off as a slightly harsher version of Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman, reminding listeners of industrial’s heyday. Heavy imagery focuses on the vampiric state of Satan and his minions. Whether you believe or not, one can’t deny how life-draining the world has become.

 And if we don’t band together, vampires will hunt us one by one by one.

“Completion of Sanctification,” rounds out the album’s original track listing, giving the artist’s full statement of faith. There is no mincing of words here as  Christopher Johnson loudly states, “Jesus Christ, the way and truth and life.”

This song refuses to relent in its heaviness, being bold in word and instrumentation.  If you want deathcore in its most honest state, look no further.

Christopher Johnson - Hard Look
Christopher Johnson – Hard Look

As the bonus tracks hit, they keep on par with the rest of the album, never feeling out of place. “The Fallout,” and both versions of “Sharpening The Iron,” complete the vision Christopher Johnson set out to create and give us hope for an even heavier future.

Overall, this album goes hard from start to finish, never straying from the artist’s beliefs. While not overly deep, the lyrics go straight to the point and pull no punches along the way. You know precisely what you’re getting into from the first track, and if you forget to punch out early, the blame is on you.

What did you think of “Omnexus Redux?” Which track is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Listen to Omnexus Redux:

 

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Self-proclaimed entertainment guru Charles E Henning fills his free time reading books, watching movies, and listening to music. While not always up on the latest trends, he is always willing to dissect the themes of pop culture.

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