OMEN – Hammer Damage
Forever in the making (too many personnel changes in the interim to fully mention), "Hammer Damage" is the latest studio album for Texas metal act Omen. Yes, the one from the 80’s who had legendary records like "Battle Cry" and "Warning of Danger" in their discography. Unfortunately, these 9 songs do not stack up to that classic material for a number of reasons.
Be it lackluster drumming (sounds programmed to these ears), low production values (barely above demo quality) and a sub-par vocal performance from Kevin Goocher, songs like "Cry Havoc" and "Hellas" could have been churned out by hundreds of faceless acts in the traditional/power metal community, and I expect more from Omen in the long run. Kenny Powell can still play a mean guitar, and many riffs come from the 80’s heart – so at least this is no "Reopening the Gates" modern transformation. But "Hammer Damage" could have been so much more, if only willing to up the level of quality on all fronts.
Better luck next time.