Album Reviews

Asia – Omega

Released by Frontiers Records

Released by Frontiers Records on April 23, 2010
Genre: Hard rock, Progressive rock
Running Time:

1. Finger on the Trigger**
2. Through My Veins
3. Holy War
4. Ever Yours
5. Listen Children**
6. End of the World
7. Light the Way
8. Emily**
9. Still the Same
10. There Was a Time
11. I Believe**
12. Don’t Wanna Lose You Now


Geoff Downes – keyboards, backing vocals
John Wetton – bass, lead vocals
Steve Howe – guitar, backing vocals
Carl Palmer – drums, percussion

Second studio album from Asia after their original members reunited for the release of “Phoenix”, here we have “Omega” the 12th studio album from the British Prog Rock quartet.  A little history must be explained to your fellow eyes, as the band Asia which I’m sure any rock fans knows originally came into existence out of the demise of Britain’s top Progressive Rock bands at the time “Yes” and “Emerson, Lake and Palmer”. It wasn’t until 1981 that the original lineup of John Wetton and former Yes guitarist Steve Howe and Keyboardist Geoffrey Downes came to fruition. Earlier Asia material initially disappointed some in the genre, but they went on to gain considerable popularity in the “Arena Rock” atonement and needless to say that their debut record went on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide. So now the band returns with “Omega” and keeping the original lineup intact as the boys offer their eponymous blend of progressive AOR melodies to the world.

One constant staple of the band has always been the extremely good musicianship and the band’s first single and opener track “Finger On The Trigger” is a prime example of this. With an earlier advanced listen before the promo copy, this track got me excited because it uses those tight AOR melodies with Wetton’s upbeat vocals making it a perfectly flowing catchy single. Listening to the charismatic shift changes in “Holy War” couldn’t help but notice the similarities to some of the material from “Phoenix” especially in the chorus bridge and the historical reference lyrics of the song. The beat heard in “Listen, Children” will hold your attention as it’s simple base line and guitar riff will remind you of a laid back tune played loudly on a hot summer night. If you’re fortunate enough to get the first pressing of “Omega” you will enjoy the excellent bonus track “Emily” featuring a vibrant rhythm section that kick starts the song into a natural progression.

If you are a newcomer to the band, (don’t know where you have been the last 20 years), you might be mislead with the single “Finger On The Trigger” as that track is strictly more upbeat AOR, but to be honest the track was actually recorded 4 years ago with Downes and Wetton’s other band Icon. The true sound is easily comparable to their original debut material as is more progressive rock oriented, with well performed musicianship and mature lyrics. Don’t be scared as I know some listeners don’t dig the progressive rock side of things, but the intricacies here are made more accessible when the band plays a whole and not as a sum of it’s parts. Any fans of Asia will dig this, if you’re new to the band you should check earlier catalog material to see if “Omega” is your thing. Go out and support the band!!!

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys  7/10

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