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New Music Review: OMEN “Battle Cry”

Track Listing:

Death Rider
The Axeman
Last Rites
Dragon’s Breath
Be My Wench
Torture Me
Battle Cry
Die By The Blade
Prince Of Darkness
Bring Out The Beast
In The Arena
Battle Cry (Live at San Antonio, Texas 1986)

Omen in 1984

J.D. Kimball – Vocals
Joe Jaimes – Guitars
Kenny Powell – Guitars
Steve Wittig – Drums
Jody Henry – Bass

Review-I discovered Omen in 1988 and the release of “ Escape to Nowhere”. Coburn Pharr, when he was introduced as the new lead singer. At this time in history, I guess he could be seen as the “ John Bush” of this band. Omen had three cds previous that were flawless heavy metal bibles. Then, here comes a new lead singer whose vocals change the direction of the band. To listen to “ Battle Cry”, you can see the birth of a band that should have been a major deal. This is no slam on any other vocalist in their history, but there is only one J.D. Kimball. This debut album by Omen, is perfect. This is their “ Reign in Blood”, “ Master of Puppets” and any other cliche you want to throw in. If Heavy Metal is in your blood, this album should be on your shelf, beside the pot and booze. The opening track, “ Death Rider” get this album going in full fist pump in the air fury. This album just never lets up and then it makes you fear “ The Axeman”.

This album has zero filler. This is just an album that feels like it had to be made to define the trails that metal would blaze for years to come. Kimball has this rough and aggressive vocal delivery that sounds like it was made to be screaming and singing to an appreciative crowd. This album is a very simple metal creation that does not falter away from its roots. That is why when I listen to what Pharr would do later, it is like night and day. Even today with Kevin Goocher who has this Jon Oliva delivery that feels like the bridge from Kimball to Pharr. This album today still sounds fresh and just devastated my ear drums in such a great way. I know people will dismiss this band as this and that, but those people suck. This is a band that all these years later is still putting out great albums. I would recommend this album to all the bullshit magazines and websites that list their all time favorite records and seem to forget the bands like Omen.

10 out of 10

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