I’ve never been much of one for gimmicks, and even less for theme-based bands, BONGZILLA and a few others notwithstanding. GWAR? Alright, but nothing I’m ever in a specific mood for. LORDI? Same. Even CANNABIS CORPSE, don’t really feel it, which is surprising, even to me. Enter AT THE PLATES. Yes, AT THE PLATES. ‘Nuff said, let’s dig into Omnivore, the band’s “second course” full-length. Sorry, I had to. And I’m not done yet.

I’m guessing 2020’s Starch Enemy was founder/head chef Tony Rouse’s audition process, because he’s taken two of the guests from that album and now AT THE PLATES is a full-on band. ‘With Their Cutlets’ seems interesting enough at the start, but reeks of early/mid-‘00s Decibel & Revolver-sponsored touring packages where 9/10 of the bands sounded identical to the point where if you turned your back to the stage you’d be hard pressed to tell which was playing at the time. Vocalist Mario Alejandro has a fierce snarl, almost Mille Petrozza, circa Coma Of Souls-era KREATOR, and ‘Kitchen Gone’ uses this to become a tasty thrash/death sauce drizzled over ‘Punish My Waistline’, which, goes down like buttered pot roast at a Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.

The well-played layering of guitars giving us time to contemplate and regret the damage done thus far, and ‘Roastwell 47’ thrives on subject matter (The Twilight Zone anyone? ‘To Serve Man’, anyone?), but leaves a lingering – and unpleasing – aftertaste. Lead guitarist Tyler McCarthy’s no slouch behind the fret carving board at ‘Open Buffet Surgery’, doing double duty as the server (Can we say waiter/waitress anymore? I forget.) refilling your bevvies with a sense of timing and care to ensure a good tip at the end of the evening.

After a slow, painful, yet satisfying double-dip ‘Into Everlasting Fryer’, ‘Northern Frites’ winds up our dining experience, dissonant at times, a redline-racing early HYPOCRISY or THE CROWN, but slowing at times to good effect. The overall problem, however, remains. While we’ve enjoyed the meal, Omnivore remains a curiosity; a hip place to take your friends from out of town for good food and the quirkiness of it, but nowhere you’d put on your weekly rotation. What’s next? ROTTING CRUST? DIMMU BURGER?
Review By: Lord Randall