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REVIEW – OMEN are one of those bands that i grew up with. In my senior year in high school I can remember hearing the song “It’s Not Easy” for the first time and just immediately being drawn to the band. 2016, OMEN have returned after a long hiatus with Hammer Damage. I am supposed to lie because I just interviewed the lead singer Kevin Goocher and say, “I have followed the band in their last few releases”. The truth is, hearing Hammer Damage is the first new OMEN music I have heard since Escape to Nowhere. Right off the bat, Kevin Goocher’s vocals bring something different. He has this Jon Oliva style of delivery that comes across as operatic and metal, the man does not hold back on a song. I guess the running joke with OMEN fans are that Hammer Damage took as long as Chinese Democracy. For me, Hammer Damage took as long as that long delayed new POWERMAD album that the band emailed me for 4 years with press releases. The record screams of a raw power, a band that I think this long absence did well. The music comes across as energetic and passionate, but yet you still have that core OMEN sound. For fans like me who forgot the band once the METAL BLADE days were gone, the band is not that nostalgia act or trying to coast on their past.
Hammer Damage feels like a band who still have a ton to offer modern metal fans and also please their old school fans. You can tell the band was in the studio and treated this like a jam with friends more than a structured album of songs. This record has the vibe to hang out with your friends and just listen to some metal, not put too much thinking into it, just get off on the sound and the passion being thrown on your ears. How, Kenny Powell is not in the same breath with all the other guitar stars of metal is beyond me. Hammer Damage showcases that Kenny has a hunger and passion to deliver for the fans on the guitar, and that the rest of the band feel his energy and compliment it, with their heart as well. This is what I want when I buy a metal album. I want music that does not sound like a machine, but has the human element in it. I want a band who is out to beat my ass with their crushing power and intensity. Hammer Damage makes me want to seek out previous releases and also Kevin’s work and see what i been missing out. The Hammer is not the Damage, the Damage is what this will do to all the fake metal albums out there right now. If this is a comeback, welcome back..but fuck it feels like they never left…I am bowing to the gods of my childhood. What a statement to the metal community..now metal community answer back my supporting this.
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