Omen, Ragenheart and more at On Stage Club (2009)

On Stage Club (Athens, Greece)

Omen, Ragenheart, Valor
At the US Heavy_Epic Metal legends' heyday 20-25 years ago it would be a waste […]
By Grigoris Chronis
September 26, 2009

At the US Heavy_Epic Metal legends' heyday 20-25 years ago it would be a waste of dream wishing to catch OMEN on-stage in a small Mediterranean country. The battalion-tempo patriarchs - anno 2009 - decided to storm Greece for a series of dates and Athens was their last stop in a moody Saturday evening. In a hall self-called a 'venue' not more than 100 thirsty traditional metallers were gathered to celebrate OMEN's 25th anniversary in the Metal field. The American act has been excessively inactive for six years now - their last studio offering was 2003's Eternal Black Dawn - but it's always a good time to have the chance to listen to a set of classic diamonds delivered by acts like (the only original member in years) Kenny Powell's ruthless clan.

Athenian melodic metallers VALOR were the first to step on: in 35 minutes filled with dual lyric_epic_traveling Power Metal of their own identity (imagine WARLORD, IRON MAIDEN and HEIR APPARENT, to get a brief picture) the band presented a musical profile somehow not in the same level compared to other times I've seen them in the past but - anyway - serious and trustworthy. Not helped by the fuzzy sound, VALOR achieved bringing on a good atmosphere and with more of a variety in their songwriting I believe they can surpass their brilliant - one of the most fascinating Heavy_Epic Metal albums I've listened to from a band located in Southern Europe the last years, to be honest - Destiny's Path (2008) debut CD (what about a vinyl edition, really?).

With fellow Speed metallers METALMORFOSIS cancelling their participation, it was time for an academic - in my eyes and ears - act to roll on. RAGENHEART's In The Name Of God demo CD (2006?) was saluted with great enthusiasm but - since then - there's not much to say 'bout discographic moves. The sensational Heavy_Power Metal blend RAGENHEATRT performs owes a lot to DIO, QUEENSRYCHE, LETHAL and CRIMSON GLORY and - truth is - the band has the potential for an impressive debut; whenever this may come...Sadly, that evening I do not think the quintet was in top mood - again, the sound was not on their side - plus it was a shame most of the audience was more into PR shit rather than paying attention to one of the most conscious outfits Greece has to offer in present time. Have seen them in better times and the new songs have the potential to kill at sight in healthier conditions; we'll just have to wait.

With OMEN being a personal favorite amongst the hordes of 80s American Metal music, my main concern was if Kenny Powell would be sober enough to perform all the hymns he's offered to our beloved music. Thankfully, the time the band hit the stage and the first notes of Termination blew the hall's speakers it was evident that this would be an - at least - nice show.

George Call (ASKA) is the ideal addition for OMEN's current status: paying tribute to the one and only J.D. Kimball (original vocalist and possibly one of the most expressive voices in the Heavy Metal history) he also has his own melodic procedure plus he's the new blood always required for classic bands to carry on showing that something. He did quite well - and so did the rest of the quartet - throughout the band's set...

...which was quite limited, to be honest (about an hour?). All songs derived from OMEN's first three classic albums thus the reaction of the dedicated crowd was something more than dynamic. As time was passing by it was getting hotter and hotter for the audience and the band - hence I do not know how possible would it be for OMEN to carry on playing in such a crematory - and things got hot as hell to the hearing of tunes like Teeth Of The Hydra, Death Rider, The Axeman and The Curse. The sound was quite fitting for the existing standards and Kenny's guitar seemed - at times - to be the guiding whip for most of the fans to go crazy.

A rich encore featuring Battle Cry and Don't Fear The Night was more than welcome, with an additional 'party' take on Warning Of Danger wrapping up an emotional recital by an once leading American Metal legend. Don't know if I'd ask for another OMEN album but I'd definitely require another striking performance but in a more appropriate venue.

OMEN setlist:

01. Termination
02. Death Rider
03. Dragon's Breath
04. Ruby Eyes (Of The Serpent)
05. The Axeman
06. Teeth Of The Hydra
07. In The Arena
08. Die By The Blade
09. The Curse
10. Battle Cry
11. Don't Fear The Night
12. Warning Of Danger

(photos by the axeman)



ERROR: A link was posted here (img) but it appears to be a broken link.


linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram