"Eternal Black Dawn" (Crash; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I found out I was going to get a chance to review Omen's "Eternal Black Dawn" the day before the band's original vocalist passed away after a three-year fight with cancer. That's not a good way to be introduced to a band -- it's preferable that one is introduced to a band on a more positive note. However, it made me wonder why I still hadn't heard of Omen until now and, in some respects, in made me realize I still have a lot to learn because I still didn't know about the band Riot well into the late '90s (in fact, one friend of mine was so incredulous that I hadn't heard of Riot at that time that he didn't speak to me for a month!).

Omen play old-school metal in the vein of Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, and Savatage with a fantasy edge. After a little research I learned that Omen released a series of albums in the mid-'80s and then went silent for the better part of 15 years. Guitarist Kenny Powell revived Omen with a brand new line-up and then recorded "Eternal Black Dawn."

"Eternal Black Dawn" is not far removed from the early- to mid-'80s sound that spawned Iron Maiden and countless followers. The music is hard charging, melodic, free of angst, yet filled with drama -- the kind of drama that fantasy-informed old-school metal demands.

While I found the overall impact of Omen's "Eternal Black Dawn" to be a bit lackluster, I do appreciate well-written and well-performed songs. "Eternal Black Dawn" will find a home in my CD player when I'm in need of a classic metal fix in the vein of other similar bands like Iron Maiden, Laaz Rockit, Vyndykator, and early Judas Priest.

"Eternal Black Dawn" was produced by Kenny Powell.

Omen: Kevin Goocher on vocals, Kenny Powell on guitars, Andy Haas on bass, and Rick Murray on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 14:16:13 -0400 .