Omen – Eternal Black Dawn

up_032904_omenThe first 3 Omen releases, along with the “Nightmares” EP, are among the essential titles of the 80’s metal movement. With his gruff, yet harmonious vocal croon, J.D. Kimball (RIP – 2003) really set this band apart from the rest of the pack of Maiden-esque, melodic metal merchants that melded touching emotion, with a hard as granite attack. Even though Omen have continued on after Kimball, I can’t say that the magic of their past has remained in their songwriting. Replacement vocalist Kevin Goocher can really emulate Kimball’s rustic voice both live and on the older Omen tracks in the medley found closing “Eternal Black Dawn”, but he seems a touch dry on the original tracks being scribed by Omen 2003. Perhaps this isn’t his fault, for the bulk of this albums fire is extinguished by the stale production and crunch dominant music that guitarist Kenny Powell is coming up with these days as he tries to rekindle his inspiration. Minimal in attendance and sadly low key when present, is the once rich note oriented riffs that bore many similarities to unashamed Iron Maiden worship. To say that this album is horrible really isn’t fair, since there are some good ideas and songs that do surface, but this material is largely too laid back and non threatening. Dynamics are cut-n-dried as the guitars lack any sort of bite. The drum work is horribly rudimentary. This album just lies there as if the serpent that has been their mascot since the 80’s has drained all its venom. As I’ve continued to spin “Eternal Black Dawn”, I can respect Omen’s effort as they have tried to create an 80’s metal record. The formula on display here is promising, but noticeably missing some much needed excitement. – Marty

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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