OMEN “The Curse” + “Nightmares” /CD/

Re-release of the third full-length album and the first EP, on one CD, by the cult American Epic Power Metal band.
Another god given present of the American Power Metal of the eighties is the third album, "The Curse" (1986), by Omen. “The Curse” is the final studio album recorded by Omen's original lineup. Bandhead Kenny Powell formerly had played with Savage Grace, which also can be filed under "absolute cult". Most outstanding feature of Omen, besides Powell's intricate guitar-play, definitively is the heroic deep vocals of J.D. Kimball, booze-destroyer extraordinaire.
The description "Maiden on speed" had made its way through the magazines, what is not all that wrong. The axes really had these typical twin-harmonies a la Dave Murray/Adrian Smith, of course played a lot faster. Every song of this album is a gemstone of Metal-art, simply perfect songs for eternity! But you could say the same for all songs of "Battle Cry" and "Warning Of Danger", because the two previous albums also are finest steel!
The final album recorded by Omen's classic lineup, "The Curse" found the Los Angeles band in a state of transition, relinquishing many of their original New Wave Of British Heavy Metal-inspired trademarks in a somewhat forced attempt to play catch-up to the by-then dominant Thrash Metal movement. The ploy didn't work, however, and, even when they could still count on solid songwriting instincts and top-notch musicianship to carry them through, Speed Metal wannabes like the opening title cut, "S.R.B." and "At All Cost" were quite simply no match for the innately Thrashing likes of Metallica, Slayer, et. al. On the other hand, when Omen remembered their roots, their abilities for fashioning multi-paced and melodic Heavy Metal, bordering on the yet-to-be-conceived subgenre of Power Metal, were still as good as it got within the 50 states. "The Curse" offers two formidable examples of this talent: the near epic "Teeth of the Hydra" - a veritable tour de force for guitarist extraordinaire Kenny Powell; and the fan favorite "Holy Martyr" - featuring an unforgettable chorus and introduced by what is almost surely Omen's most recognizable riff ever.
As a bonus we even get the six tracks of the "Nightmares" EP! It was originally released in 1987 by Metal Blade and was included as bonus tracks on the 1989 re-issue of "Warning Of Danger" and the 1996 re-issue of "The Curse". This EP was really hard to find, so Metal Blade eventually reissued it as a bonus in few re-editions. There are a total of five songs including a live cover of AC/DC's "Whole Lot Of Rosie". Right away the song "Nightmares" shows us the use of the bass guitar and the power it holds when the guitars are combined. What brings this EP together is song structure, which is pretty well thought and brought out. For the most part the music is pretty fast with some speed riffs. The singing is well done changing the sound from the first two albums. The beginning of "Bounty Hunter" has a demon like vocal thing, which has been used by Omen in the past, and gives the songs more meaning. "The cover of Whole Lot Of Rosie" is done pretty good, and almost sound like AC/DC (besides vocal wise). Production on this song is also fairly good for being a live production.
Overall, this is a well added bonus!
Metal Blade Records/Pacheco Records, 1986/1987/1996/2012. Made in Argentina.

1. The Curse     5:46
2. Kill On Sight     4:50
3. Holy Martyr     4:02
4. Eye Of The Storm     4:11
5. S.R.B.     5:47
6. Teeth Of The Hydra     5:59
7. At All Cost     5:26
8. Destiny     3:24
9. Bounty Hunter     4:25
10. The Larch     1:35
11. Nightmares     2:51 
12. Shock Treatment     2:40
13. Dragon's Breath     3:00
14. Termination     3:33
15. Bounty Hunter     4:24
16. Whole Lotta Rosie (Live) (AC/DC cover)    3:54
Total playing time: 65:47

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