Omicida – “Defrauded Reign” (www.omicidaofficial.com)
Battle Helm Rating
Formed in LA by ex White Wizzard drummer Giovanni Durst, Omicida (which I guess translates from the Italian for ‘homicide’?) have never been short of pulling quality members with their first line up featuring ex-Devil You Know guitarist Roy Lev-Ari and ex-White Wizzard guitarist Erik Kluiber for their 2015 debut, “Certain Death”, which attracted widespread media attention for its quality thrash mettle. Since then, Durst has relocated to London, along with another quality line up featuring yet another ex White Wizzard guitarist in Will Wallner and Dan Bate from Benediction on bass. Joining Durst from the past is the other Giovanni in Giovanni Barbieri on vocals. Retaining the White Wizzard connection in producer Ralph Patlan (Megadeth, White Wizzard), “Defrauded Reign” is the Omicida’s full blown 11 track monster and definitely lives up to the band’s murderous theme. Inspired by classic Slayer in all their violent aggression, there’s also plenty of crushing grooves reminding me of Machine Head and melodic hooks along the lines of Testament as well as fast guitar work reminiscent of early Exodus – quite a winning combination! Indeed, the band maintain no ambition to ‘…re-invent the wheel, just add some new dynamics to it..’, which they do in fine style both subtle and overt given the pedigree of the members. From the absolutely raging ‘State Of Terror’ with its relentless drum work and heavy, chundering guitars bringing a real atmosphere of menace, the parallels to Slayer are undoubted, especially in Barbieri’s vocals, but rather than go into full diddly dee mode, the guitars instead power in plenty of melodies especially in their solos, making for an intelligent contrast to the otherwise riotous roar on hand. Likewise, ‘The Supremacist’ with its massive but catchy grooves even chucks in some hardcore riffing while Durst’s double bass hammering continues in the background, while also providing noticeable rhythmic beats along with Bate’s bass rumblings on this cold and nasty track. Best of all for me was ‘Protect And Serve’ with Barbieri shredding his larynx through the angry, socially conscious lyrics as the guitars squeaked and wailed like cop sirens when they weren’t blasting away like shotguns or going into King / Hanneman speed runs. Yeah, “Defrauded Reign” worked a treat for me, maybe not for breaking new ground, but if anything establishing a high quality thrash band with the hallmarks of the legends right here in London town.