Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Initial Impressions: Omen: Battle Cry

When most people think of American metal in the 1980's, they think of hair bands that may or may not actually be metal. They think of groups like Motley Crue, Poison, Whitesnake, Warrant, and the like. However, other forms of metal were also taking hold. There was of course the thrash metal scene. Arising out of that was the death metal scene. But the power metal scene was also taking form in the U.S. Influenced by the NWOBHM almost exclusively, a sound was emerging that was not as frenzied as thrash, but was by no means less powerful. Manowar was perhaps the best example of this. Omen is another one.

One can easily hear that Omen is influenced by Iron Maiden. It is obvious from the interweaving guitar melodies around the main drum and bass riff and the soaring vocals. The band also occasionally shows off its ability to do the galloping riffs Iron Maiden is well-known for. The music is mid-paced, not real fast, but not slow either. The vocals are delivered in a rich, low tenor. The songs are all right around the four minute mark and are very catchy. They don't drag at all or rush things. Everything is well-developed.

This is a band that is somewhat forgotten from the mid 1980's. But, they were an important part of the development of power metal in the U.S. Along with groups like Manowar and Manilla Road, Omen helped to push this newer genre further in the U.S.

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