September 15th has been the day, "Eternal Black Dawn", the new and altogether sixth album of US-Power Metal legend OMEN was released. But do not approach it with too high expectations. That the album won't be able to compete with the first three gemstones, was pretty clear from the beginning (even though this is exactly what you would hope for). I was damn glad when the promo CD arrived in my mailbox, but now, after several listens, the sobering is big.
The album picks up, where the old glorious days had left off and mostly makes me forget the 1997 fall out "Reopening The Gates". Mastermind Kenny Powell shows again that he still is able to create great riffs en masse and the songs themselves mostly are not far behind classics like "Die By The Blade", "Last Rites" or "Don't Fear The Night". So where is the problem? The overall impression is the root of all evil. Hardly and song (or none at all) really grabs you by the balls. Where are the great harmonies, the bite, the wonderful choruses, the touching moments of unforgettable hymns like "Torture Me", "The Axeman", "March On", "Teeth Of The Hydra"? Where did the fantastic melodies go, Kenny? Lost them on the way to the studio? The new singer? I don't know.
When I read the info with "mix of Dio and J.D. Kimball", my smile turns to stone. The guy is not bad, but with OMEN? No, really not. Just compare the medley at the end, comprising of "Make Me Your King", "Dragon's Breath", "Die By The Blade" and "Nightmares", which is performed so lamely, with the original versions and you'll be on the brink of crying. Many old OMEN fans will try to talk the CD good, but… Ah, hear for yourselves!
The CD is quite good, but quite good is almost an insult for a band like OMEN that has written history!!! Rather get the latest works of BRAINSTORM and PARAGON, there you at least get value for money! (Online September 21, 2003)