Monday, September 13, 2010
Omen - Battle Cry
Omen formed in 83', and released their first and arguably best album, Battle Cry, in 84'. This album, along with the single "The Axeman" was a minor hit, albeit a quickly forgotten one.
The album however, starts of with what is an even better song than it's single, namely the high tempo "Death Rider", a song with a slight feel of melodic thrash to it, despite being classic heavy metal. It's melodic main riff and intro sounds like it could be picked out of iron maidens self titled album, with it's melody and 3/4 feel (it's in 4/4, it just has the feel of 3/4).
"The Axeman" also has a start that can be linked heavily to maiden, with a spoken intro, reminiscent quite a bit to the intro of Maidens "Number of the Beast", released the previous year. The rest of the song and album tones down this maiden-like feel, and it does the album good. The continuation of the song, has a heavier feel, with a proto-thrashing riff and more challenging vocals.
Other stand out tracks include the title track, and "in the arena". the first of which starts of with the sourest guitar scream you will ever hear, before kicking in with a technical staccato riff and then a tight galloping, with a catchy chorus. This is a great sing-along track, and for some time has been one of the fixed songs in my drinking playlist. The solo is also worth mentioning as one of the better on the album.
"In the Arena" on the other hand starts of slowly, with acoustic finger plucking, and emotional singing, before driving the song onwards, with high speed. somehow it still retain a feeling of tragedy through the vocals, lyrics about a falling gladiator, and the underlying chords on the chorus. The mix of high speed and emotion is an uncommon one and an excellent way to end the album. With songs mostly going very up-tempo, the change of feel is a pleasant one.
Variation is, despite all the songs going in the same vein of music, not much of an issue. The riffs are distinct enough to separate the songs, and the vocalist can play a few different tunes. The one major drawback of this album, is the lack of originality. While it's a good album in it's own respect, it is always reminiscent of someone else, be it Maiden, Manowar or Judas Priest. with this the only thing draving them back, the score is pretty easy.
For now, omen recives a decent 9/10
Omen - Battle Cry (mediafire)
Omen - Battle Cry (spotify)