In their heaviest and darkest release to date, Project 86 have released Omni, Part 1 of their double album which will eventually be accompanied by a storybook and visual album.
Starting back in 1996 in Orange County, California, Project 86 has made quite an impact as a band when you count the 11 albums, two DVDs, two Eps and one live album with more than half a million units being moved globally. Vocalist and lyricist Andrew Schwab has been a favorite of many for years and he has also released a number of books and hosts Pioneers podcast. Schwab’s voice is instantly recognizable and has that unique ability to cut through seemingly all music conveying emotion and conviction with clarity. As was the case with their last album, Sheep Among Wolves, the band chose to crowdfund The Final Chapter effort and easily met their initial goals and moved well into the stretch goals which will fund some of the other releases to go into this project. As they have in the past, the band has released a concept album, in this case Omni, Part 1 telling the story of a dystopian future, where technology has become the rule of the day and controlled by a corporation. Part 2 will be the origin story and consist of the Brutality ep and Digital ep. The album was recorded at Spire Studios in Springfield, MO with Beau Burchell (Senses Fail, Saosin) producing.
Of all the Project 86 albums, their first concept one, Truthless Heroes, still remains one of my favorites and when Andrew Schwab released a playlist on Spotify rearranging the songs as he would have liked to have had on the album, I instantly added that to my favorites and go back to it often. Omni, Part 1 is so much darker than anything the band has done before, it is almost unrecognizable as a Project 86 album. Some of that has to do with the added electronic elements in the songs and the overall production which ends up muddying the sound compared to the band’s other efforts which are more stripped down that what is here. To fully appreciate Omni, Part 1, I highly recommend a first listen with headphones and some time set aside to go through the album as a whole since it works best as a complete story.