Omega (2010)

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


Normally, when a super group reunites after being split up after several decades, they rarely release more than one new studio album. They usually will release a plethora of repackaged hits compilations, tour state fairs relentlessly, and then put out a few live packages from such shows. But not often new studio albums. Why? My guess would be the cost. It's not cheap to record brand new music. The actual recording and promotion can easily escalate into the hundreds of thousands, and there really isn't much of an audience to recoup such an investment. So if these rock heroes of yesterday still want to live modestly comfortable, economics dictates the path of performing and putting out different versions of their greatest hits ad-nauseum.

So it really did surprise me to see another new Asia album only two years following the "rebirth" album Phoenix. Even more surprising, the classic line-up is still intact. What was the most surprising was the quality of the material. This record is easily the best of anything they've done since their debut 28 years prior. I guess that statement really is a matter of taste, though. Let's clarify and say that this record sounds the most like their first album. Usually when they would try to "expand" their sound, the results were less than desirable. This album sounds most like classic Asia.

Apart from a couple of songs in the middle (Light the Way and Emily) when they veer into territories of mediocrity, the remainder of this record sounds rich, majestic, powerful, and to a degree, spiritual (lots of songs about God, Holy Wars, and Children dancing the holy night away). Had this record been a follow up to their debut, or even a follow up to the less-popular Alpha, the Asia light may have burned a lot brighter for a lot longer. This album has a nice combination of straight-ahead rock tracks, proggy stuff, and some syrupy ballads thrown in for fun.

What also tends to be a trend, is that the Wetton/Downes penned material stands out as the strongest (which is what most of the songs are, thankfully). For whatever reason, there also tends to be a few different versions of this record out there, with the track listing slightly altered. I'm not sure why. Some sights list the above mentioned Emily as a "bonus" track, for example. If so, I wouldn't necessarily suggest anyone look for a copy that included it. It's probably "bonus" for a reason.

Like its predecessor, there is about one hours' worth of music here. Unlike its predecessor, this one has very little filler. A must for a fan. Even for fan that hasn't had these guys on their radar for some time.

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