OMEN “Battle Cry” /CD/

The third re-release on CD of the debut full-length album by the cult American Epic Power Metal band.
Alongside Manowar’s first four albums, Manila Road’s "Open The Gates" and "Crystal Logic" and Bathory’s (un)holy trilogy, Omen’s "Battle Cry" is one of the most important chapters in the Holy Bible of Epic Metal (the same goes with their sophomore effort, "Warning Of Danger"). However, while the rest of the bunch recognized Sabbath, Rainbow, Wishbone Ash and early Rush as their primal influences, Omen were fervent Iron Maiden disciples, something that reflected clearly on their music. Unlike the others, Omen in "Battle Cry" played at a significantly higher pace, with thunderous riffs, modestly melodic passages and a craving for dual guitar leads. Their sword and sorcery themed songs followed standard structures that never extended to long epics, and their bloodthirsty Heavy Metal honestly owed very much to their amazingly powerful singer, JD Kimball, whose brave vocals were truly one of a kind; he wouldn’t reach for the higher notes, he would deliver simple, direct and memorable vocal lines instead.
This all resulted in 10 songs that could be appealing to any US Power Metal fan as well, exactly because of their relentlessness, which was quite atypical at the time-let’s not lose sight of the fact that the rapidly evolving Epic Metal scene was then following, consciously or not, Manowar’s “heavy as a slow moving ship in the sea” dogma. What made Omen a standout act and a name worthy of being pronounced in the same breath as the aforementioned Epic Metal giants though, was their indisputable talent. With songs such as "Death Rider", "The Axe man", "Dragon’s Breath" and Epic Metal’s national anthem, the title track, it wasn’t painful for even the most skeptical to overlook "Battle Cry"’s lack of balance which made this album slightly inconsistent.
Rightfully, Omen quickly gained a relatively small but very devoted fan base, before becoming key figures and, as of today, one of the most important bands in Epic Metal, as they managed, to match-or maybe even surpass-with their following two records, "Warning Of Danger" and "The Curse", their debut in terms of quality and influence.
"Battle Cry" is definitely a landmark album, for not only US Power Metal, but the entire Power Metal genre in general with its more violent approach to the lyrics and artwork, as well as its undeniable catchy, anthem-like choruses and riffs. If this album isn't one that you have got to yet, or one that you found to be entirely unenjoyable, then you had better lock your doors because the Axeman will have you bound and gagged!!
Metal Blade Records/Pacheco Records, 1984/2012. Made in Argentina.

1. Death Rider     03:28
2. The Axeman     04:27
3. Last Rites     03:41
4. Dragon's Breath     03:01 
5. Be My Wench     04:03 
6. Battle Cry     03:44 
7. Die by the Blade     03:10 
8. Prince of Darkness     02:46
9. Bring Out the Beast     04:10
10. In the Arena     04:05
Total playing time: 36:35

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