Local Noise: Ominous

If you’re a fan of the heaviest of heavy in the rock and metal world, and you listen to Seton Hall’s WSOU, which has become one of the leading radio purveyors of the genre in the country, you will likely be familiar with Jersey death metal band Ominous. Their song “Your Tragedy” has become one of the most requested songs on the station, and helped the group’s fast rising reputation.

As a result, the New Jersey band has toured throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, in support of their debut album, which was released through Rotting Corpse Records. The group includes drums Jay Meerholz, vocalist/guitarist Vic Gonzalez and bassist Alex Rosati. And the band got together through adds placed in this very publication, according to Vic.

As with most bands in the genre, touring is the key to their success. “Out West is our favorite,” related Alex. “Wisconsin, Indiana and Chicago, because it’s where we are the biggest, and where the band started to gain success. Florida is another favorite because it’s one of the biggest states for death metal right now. And we’ve met and played with some of our idols there.”

Some of those idols include the bands that have influenced Ominous. They cite Cradle Of Filth, Deicide Obituary, Morbid Angel, Cryptopsy, Slayer, Dying Fetus, Suffocation and even The Ramones as the major influences on their sound, and on them personally.

“Brutality with groove,” explained Vic, when asked to describe his music.

“Organized chaos,” said Jay.

While Alex described it as “Insanity with emotion, structure and flow.” They all play a part in creating the soundscape.

“We all do our contributions in the song writing process, and the process works very well,” explained Vic. “We have our unique formula.”

Much of the music stems from the process of jamming on the parts they come up with. “Me and Vic always have riff ideas that often change because of what Jay may be doing on drums,” Alex related. “While other times, what Jay is doing on drums may create a riff or an idea.”

In fact, the drums play a key role in creating their sound. “I always have ideas that sometimes create the song,” said Jay. “Or the other times it’s the other way around. And other times the three of us break off and do our own thing.”

“‘13 Years Of Pain,’ ‘Your Tragedy’ and ‘Battered’ are fan-favorites,” Vic said.

“‘Battered’ seems to be a band favorite to play because it is usually our last song, so just as the crowd thinks we are done with our set, we hit them once more with probably one of our more heavy songs,” added Alex. “‘Intercorpse’ is another one of my favorites because it’s a simple riff, and the song is not that hard witch means I can really go nuts on stage!”

“‘Battered’ and ‘Behind the Shaded Skies’ are my favorites to play because of the structure and rhythm of them. They are just fun to play,” said Jay.

While the music is mostly very serious and intense in nature, there are times the group has had a bit of levity enter their realm. “Alex takes the cake,” laughed Jay. “We played a show in Puerto Rico and Alex decided he wanted to jump off stage, but it was raining that night and there was a leak in the roof. Alex jumped right in the puddle and slipped and busted his ass! It was a classic moment.”

“The second time would be when we played in New York City, and Jay fell off the rear of the drum riser right on his ass!” countered Alex. “Another time in New York City, Vic was so drunk he forgot the lyrics to some of the songs and just started screaming and growling, ’Captain Crunch, Captain Crunch’! But that is only a few of so many stories.”

Ominous draws its name from a scene in the movie Final Destination. “I was unsure at first, but after time it really grew on me,” said Jay.

The future seems extremely bright for the band. As far as goals, they are simple and straightforward about what they want to accomplish. “To create what we love, and succeed as we are full time,” said Vic. “We are working on new material now and we are shooting for the studio in December or early January. Our plans are to tour our asses off and promote this band in every part of the world!”

You can see what Ominous is all about at myspace.com/ominous, or contact the band directly at ominous@yahoo.com.