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Hammer Damage

The early 1980’s was a breeding ground for heavy metal. Out of that womb came forth many bands that tried their hand at the masterful sound. Most folded, some stuck around and quickly faded, and few survived.

Among the survivors is a mean and nasty sod of a band, Omen. Though their run had three long breaks between releases (88-97, 97-2003, and 03-2016) they are one band that kept going, even through many line-up changes over the years.

Hammer Damage starts off mean and nasty with the title cut. Like the records before, they come out swinging, lashing out in old school, theatrical, metal style. The following two numbers, “Chaco Canyon” and “Cry Havoc” slam down the classic metal sound Omen is known for. Toning things down, “Eulogy for a Warrior’s” clean arpeggios under distorted power chords make the song heavy without being boring. The songs “Knights” and “Hellas” step up the tempo again adding some 80’s flavor with speedy leads and some tradeoffs. “Caligula” and “Era of Crisis” chug along at ramming speed and “A.F.U.” spills a little Iron Maiden influence in the intro and in the rhythms. It’s a well-executed instrumental and a nice way to end the record.

Hammer Damage
Written by: Tim Duran
6 out of 10

Downside is the inconsistency of the mix, some of the vocals are way over the music and in some songs it’s level. The guitar solos for the most part are excellent but in a few songs they feel thrown together and in a few spots, a bit sloppy. Upside are “Cry Havoc” and “A.F.U.”. Overall, the band has done a great job sticking with what they love and driving home good metal year after year, huge kudos to Omen with Hammer Damage. I give them a big 6.

Tim Duran, HMS

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