(5/10) A few days ago the news about a new Omen album made my day. In the meantime I have received the longplayer and I must say that Omen gave me a real curveball. In the meantime I have listened to the album several times and it's still hard to write about it.
To stick to the baseball analogy, it's like the batter hitting the ball that goes far into the outfield. You know that it's not long enough for a homerun but it could be a double. It's this moment of being 'safe' or 'out'. Will the outfielder manage a fly-out or will the batter get a chance to reach second base. OK, that was a lot of baseball, but in Omen's case I think that the batter is safe on 1st base, but no step further.
What irritates me with this album is the sound which is a desaster. The whole things comes across muddy and muffled. Vocals are far too much in the forefront while the guitars disappear somewhere in no-man's-land. Things get even more irritating knowing that guitarist Kenny Powell signed responsible for the mix of this album. With such a heavy burden it's almost impossible to talk about the songs. I guess most of them would be far more attractive by getting support of a well done production.
"Hammer Damage", "Knights" and "Cry Havok" are actually quite good Omen tracks. They might not reach the unique level of "Battle Cry" and "Warning of Danger", but they are well-crafted power metal anthems which shows that Powell and friends still know how to rock.
However, based on all the mentioned, "Hammer Damage" is more 'damage' than 'hammer'. The sound kills the songs and I must say that Omen has deserved a far better production than what they got with "Hammer Damage". The album might satisfy die-hard Omen fans, but I can't imagine that the band will gain many new fans with this release. Sad and, to continue with baseball, a 'swing and a miss'.
- Hamer Damage
- Chaco Canyon (Sun Dagger)
- Cry Havoc
- Eulogy For a Warrior
- Era of Crisis
Label: Pure Steel Records
Genre: Power Metal
Release Date EU: May, 27th, 2016