Heard better, but this will do.
Matthew Adams | Alabama | 11/18/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Omar Santana switches up the styles and mixes up the decks in "The Epiphany", the fourth installment of the Hardcore For The Headstrong series. This album is primarily composed of a sub-genre of hardcore known as "New Style" and is characterized by a lower BPM, which is consequently made up for, at least in part, by more intelligent melody arrangements. Despite the lower BPM (something I don't mind), this album contains some of the most well-engineered beats i've heard in awhile. The beats are generally heavy and loud. They contain more of the precision-distorted bass type, with vocal, sustain, fuzz, wave and sustain effects (listen to the samples, you will know what I mean). The melodies range from dark-sounding to very dance-inducing, and are very harmonic in their nature and sound.
To give you the most accurate depection of this album, here is a synopsis of every blasting track:
1. Intro: Features the voice of Omar Santana rallying the troops of his army of hardcore, very nice to start with.
2. 420: I don't like the drug references, but nowadays, who cares? The melodies (it has two seperate ones) are nice, but the beats could be heavier in the first part.
3. Hard Mixture: DJ Anas (pronounced ann-us) is the master of bass distortion. The bass in this track will tear your speakers apart, so "kick it hard!" as it says in the track.
4. Start The Panic: Makes me think of two massively powerful beings battling in outer space. Interesting for an atmospheric feel, but lacking the HARD part of HARDcore. Feels too restrained, but the melody redeems it somewhat.
5. We Shall Never Forget: BEATS OF DESTRUCTION!!!! This track sounds like 9-11 played out rythmically, which is not surprising, since the song was done in honor of 9-11. Good melody, blasting beats, to bad the sample doesn't do it justice.
6. Get Straight To It: Good solid, rough beats, ripping melody in the first part, nice dancing melody in the second.
7. Stab Your Brain: Will take your breath away with it's sheer force. The beats sound like voices combined with electronics gone horribly wrong. With a melody which makes one imagine restless spirits, and a relentlessness that will beat you to a pulp, this track is a perfect example of "controlled rage," however oxymoronic that may be.
8. The Dark: The buildup takes WAY too long it gets boring in the middle, the beats are pretty solid though. Melody arrangement is good, but the melody synth is uninteresting.
9. Demon Seed: Spooky melody, nicely engineered bass hits, good sample in the middle. Unfortunately, it is not quite hard enough, unless you have a good system.
10. Forced To Snap: IF MY VOLUME IS ALTERED, I'LL BE FORCED TO SNAP!! The beats blast with a vocal/bass distortion sound, and are combined with a tactical sounding start-the-war sort of feel. Very Powerful.
11. Live In LA: THIS TRACK WILL KILL YOU. Beats that smash, melody that is distorted SO perfectly into the noise it becomes, and the vocal scream from MC Cypher is PURE TERROR. LAY THE F***ING BEAT DOOOOOOWN!!!
12. Final Confrontation: sounds very dated, like Mortal Kombat Theme meets Rotterdam '97. I don't like it that much, but maybe you will.
13. World Domination: Another oldstyle hardcore track, but with way better bass hits, with an inmpressive switche to drum n' bass breaks at the middle.
14. The Way We Rock: No, this is not the way I rock. Doesn't do a thing for me. More oldstyle for the people who can't let go of that crap. NEWSTYLE IS WHERE IT'S AT, PEOPLE!!!
15. Make Some Noise: The beats have a (very) nice blasting sound, but the melody is uninteresting.
16. We Come Like Dat: kind boring until it finally gets to the strong point(s) of the song, then it makes a good finisher for the album.
All in all, the album is not bad, not great either. All I can really say is I've heard better from H2oh Recordings, so buy some of their newer vinyls, and all shall be right with this world."
Where's the hardcore?
Chris Ruby | USA | 03/28/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good CD and essential to any fan of Omar or hardcore for that matter but omar seems to have adopted this gabber sound in part of his 3rd album and the fourth is almost completly gabber. for those of you who don't know gabber is slower and I would consider less energetic more raw sound, which is good stuff but I wanted tha real hardcore the lightning fast speeding ticket eat puppies sound. if I wan't gabber I'll turn to Mc Rage, Kid Morbid, and the rest of the masters of hardcore, but for hardcore I had Omar. unless he puts out that good sound next time I'll have no where to turn, and I'll know nothing is right in this world."