OMEN - "BATTLE CRY" (1984)
(Running time: 44:05 minutes; 12 songs // Rerelease 2016 edition feat. two bonus tracks.)
("Metal Blade Records"; CD)
(01.) "DEATH RIDER"
(02.) "THE AXEMAN"
(03.) "LAST RITES"
(04.) "DRAGON'S BREATH"
(05.) "BE MY WENCH"
(06.) "TORTURE ME" (bonus track, taken from the "METAL MASSACRE 5" compilation)
(07.) "BATTLE CRY"
(08.) "DIE BY THE BLADE"
(09.) "PRINCE OF DARKNESS"
(10.) "BRING OUT THE BEAST"
(11.) "IN THE ARENA"
(12.) "BATTLE CRY" (bonus track, live 1986)
Hey guys, welcome back and look what we have here: A new category titled "CLASSICK OF THE MONTH" and I will do my very best to establish this as a monthly installement up here on this very blog that will feature an album that is sort of already older or so and that 'moved me' in the then past month the most and that just makes me want to spread the word about it in an explicit way'n'manner so that it gets an own proper solely single post to pay tribute to it up here and to tell you about the greatness that it offers and (in fact) simply just is. And hey, this albums here are (in my book) true and real classicks and so at the end of this posts you will find no ratings like it would be a normal record-review or like this albums still would have to pro(o)ve something to the world or anyone or anything else, hell no, just that you know that. And to do this all here and now I'll (or I do) install this new posting series and/or category for you. Yes, that's what's now up, hell yeahr, and so here's the start for/of the "CLASSICK OF THE MONTH" series or category and the first post ever of it will be about/on the OMEN debut "BATTLE CRY", yes, and so now here we go...
OMEN were formed by their guitarist Kenny Powell in 1983. After he'd left SAVAGE GRACE he gathered the (sheer amazing) vocalist J.D. Kimball (who tragically died in 2003 of cancer... Rest in Power!!! And fuck Cancer!!!), and at the bass Jody Henry and at the drums Steve Wittig around him and then this young wildfires and Heavy Metal maniacs raised OMEN together. Then in 1984 their debut-album was released: "BATTLE CRY"; and no better title could have been chosen by them for this killer. Here I have the rerelease from 2016 of this larger than life masterpiece that features the two above already mentioned and/or listed two bonus tracks and that so now delivers (in) a runing time of nearly 45 minutes (even the mentioned bonus songs had been, for all what I've read, already used also as bonus tracks of the 2003 rerelease of this very album, anyhow, but just that you know it) and I have the CD edition of it even (if am now not completly on the wrong tracks) there's also a LP edition of it out, too.
I bought this CD finally back in 2016 and since then... (1.) I can't stop to wonder about the fact that before buying it OMEN were in the most, the biggest, and the largest parts completly under my radar, completly off-screen, so to say, and this is facing their quality and their delivery and their amazing and absolute unique identity as well as because this was and is and will be always sort of exactly my musick really pretty unbelievable for me... and so shame on me, just shame on me, in biggest amounts; (2.) I heavily digged myself into the almighty OMEN and their work and especially "BATTLE CRY", "WARNING OF DANGER", and the "THE CURSE/NIGHTMARES" reissue are still today ongoingly strong on constant heavy rotation here in Nerdopolis aka ''Camp Manslaughter''. And, to mention this just by the way, especially OMEN's "BATTLE CRY" keeps on pushing me absoultely without mercy on and on through my weightlifting workouts as well as on my 'running tracks' every morning, bloody hell yeahr, this alone makes this gladiatorial masterpiece definitely to an outstanding preciousness of one of a kind at least and especially in my very own book, so to say.
OMEN play(ed) an outstanding forceful and sharp cutting and heavy hammering Heavy Metal/Power Metal in an archetypical American Heavy Metal or (maybe better) U.S. Metal style that sneaks here and there time and again a bit into Speed Metal territory and that also showcase(d) a sort of an epic approach or character-trait that use(d) to breath a battle-scarred and gladiatorial spirit into it all and enriches and cultivates it all massively with a very savage and violent ''Sword & Sorcery'' flair that turns this into a perfect soundtrack for the adventures of the almighty Conan in the glorious days of the golden Cimmerian age, so to say, and from the artwork to the lyrics and the bandphotos to (and especially to) the musick this is maybe the most present and prominent (in the 'complete OMEN context') on OMEN's "BATTLE CRY", here on this damn amazing and outstanding total masterpiece.
The songwriting was (and still is) incredible intense and highly atmospheric through'n'through, and even it is mostly (and especially at first sight or better 'at first listen') straight ahead and onwards pushing and forward storming, without mercy and no prisoners taking, still it offers a multitude of pretty diverse and multi-layered elements 'beneath the surface' in it and it shines with big'n'wide interactions (in)between harsh smashing Heavy Metal, loud roaring Power Metal, savage raging and intense Speed Metal flirts, and fantastic Epic Metal impression in it, yes, and all is done absolutely brilliant so that it all flows and melts perfectly together and is still today sort of really 35years after its first release still a totally overwhelming, exciting, and grapping, a from start to finish absolutely intense ride that will grab you, hold you, and take you with it by storm. The diversity of the songs is huge, and all is delivered on an outstanding level of quality and skill. Great arranged verse structures, hymnal refrains, clever changes of the pace work, grapping arrangements, and an 'amazingly' exciting compositorial work in general that totally conquers still today, yes, and also after 35 years this immortal masterpiece is still as fresh, as intense, as overwhelming, and as just fantastic as it was back then in 1984. A lot of sort of extra-power OMEN's "BATTLE CRY" also gains out of or because of the enthusiastic, rousing, and just savage delivery, yes, and also Kenny Powell and the rest of the pack were (already) very (high) skilled musicians (as well as songwriters) back then. And they worked also strong IRON MAIDEN influences into their songs and musick and they definitely made it all totally their very own and when the galloping rhythms, the loud'n'proud (backing) choirs, the very memorable as well as very exciting and damn rousing melody lines, the 'impressively' massive and without compromises to the point played intense riffs, the heavy and pretty dominat bass work, the straight and heavy and very effective drumming, and the outstanding lead vokillz set in the "BATTLE CRY" echoes over the fields of war and you know that it's time for another massacre of false Metal to break out and kick off.
The biggest trademarks of (or on) OMEN's "BATTLE CRY" were/are surely the amazing and outstanding, sharp aimed'n'cutting and even harder and heavier hitting guitar work that shines with fantastic riffs and a brilliant rhythm work as well as with intense and atmospheric melody lines and leads and also delivers truly slashing solos; as well as the absoultely phenomenal total savage and yet still very hymnal arranged and melodical delivered, highly charismatic lead vocals that are nothing but outstanding and also backed up by massive and impressive choirs that add even more intensity and atmosphere to it all. The very present and also pretty dominant, playful and really the lead taking bass work and the full force and sheer thundering drum work only add up to it all. This is true Metal, U.S. American raised Heavy Metal at its damn very, very best. As fresh as back then. As relevant as back then. A true timeless treasure. Truly one of a kind.
Fantastic battle-scarred, gladiatorial, savage, and epic-fantasty lyrics, a through'n'through timeless and completly gorgeous and perfectly the title matching hard as nails rough artwork, and a truly perfect and devastating production sound (surely- a bit- overworked, but it sounds very 'old schoolish' and this in the very best way and manner) turn this all into the totally outstanding real deal and the completest package one can only get.
This is by all means and in all ways and this totally through'n'through and also really truly an outstanding and overwhelming epic classick and a timeless masterpiece of real and true Metal musick and if you really still don't have it and/but proclaim to be anyhow anyway even only slightly into (Heavy/Power/U.S.) Metal then by any means you need to finally and desperately get it, to have it, because this is second for second an absoultely larger than life masterpiece through'n'through; and I hope that I did anyhow only slightly justice to it here and now with this (first ever) "CLASSICK OF THE MONTH" posting and now I will close this post and put OMEN's "BATTLE CRY" on for one more time again and I will start the next harsh and massive headbanging one man mosh pit in my living room. This was and is and will forever be an outstanding gift of the (Metal) gods. And now: "Bang that head that doesn't bang!!!"
OMEN - "DEATH RIDER"
OMEN - "BATTLE CRY"
OMEN - "THE AXEMAN"
OMEN - "IN THE ARENA"