Omnia Opera – Nothing is Ordinary [Self-Released]

Release Date: Out now.

Record Label: Self-Released.

By Simon Hadley

The Midlands’ rock and metal heritage is unrivalled: from Black Sabbath to Judas Priest – not forgetting Robert Plant and John Bonham of course – there’s obviously something in the water.

Rewind to the present, and Shrewsbury’s Omnia Opera are continuing to show that there’s still rock to be found and cherished in centre of England. Having previously released two albums on cassette in the late 80s – younger readers might want to Google ‘cassette’ – the talented five-piece were approached by Delerium Records in the early 90s to record two albums (Omnia Opera and Red Shift) – neither of which charted.

On hiatus until 2006, Omnia Opera’s third album, Nothing is Ordinary harks back to a golden age for space-rock; each composition surrounded by intergalactic mythos and a fear for the unknown. Ironic, perhaps, that this return from obscurity is likely to be the band’s ‘golden’ album, and certainly their most creative and expansive release to date: two discs with over two hours of mind-warping astronomical mysticism.

Although space-rock is at its core – Hawkwind cira-1972, to be precise – there is also the meticulous musings of: Gong, Rush and prog-rock pioneers Yes; not to mention: Caravan, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, and the cynicism of Britpop. Living in the age of iTunes (where full-length albums are an unwelcomed commodity), Nothing is Ordinary isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste; but then again, isn’t that the point – real music, for real people.