Escape to Nowhere (Reissue)

Omen

OMEN are a typical US Heavy and Power Metal band that comes from Los Angeles. They have had two lives. The first one from 1983 until 1989. In that time they released four studio albums, of which the one I am reviewing today, “Escape To Nowhere”, is the last in line, originally released in 1988.
January 24, 2024

OMEN are a typical US Heavy and Power Metal band that comes from Los Angeles. They have had two lives. The first one from 1983 until 1989. In that time they released four studio albums, of which the one I am reviewing today, “Escape To Nowhere”, is the last in line, originally released in 1988. After a hiatus until 1996, the band reformed, and up and until now they have released three studio albums, one live album, three compilations and a box set. So, they are keeping quite busy.

I really loved the first two albums of OMEN. The reason is simple; the songs are good; the sound is raw and the overall feel of danger that “Battle Cry” (1984) and “Warning Of Danger” (1985) gave me was unique to OMEN. Unfortunately after that period the sound became slicker, polished, refined or whatever you want to call it. That took away a lot of the edge that made OMEN stand out from other bands. And due to the massive array of good albums being released in the second half of the eighties, I had to opt out of buying the following records.

When I listen to this reissue of “Escape To Nowhere” I can only say that I still stand by the decision I made then. Does that mean that I don’t like the music on offer here? On the contrary, I like it quite a lot, but to me it’s just lacking the danger aspect that accompanied their first two releases. On “Escape To Nowhere” I feel that is largely due to the voice of Coburn Pharr, as he has a very good voice, but not one where he gets really angry, distorted. He does go from mellow to a little rougher ( like on the title track “Escape To Nowhere”), but he doesn’t have that extra dimension. I will note that “Escape To Nowhere” is the only album he sang on.

What is quite risky is putting a cover of a very well-known driving song on your album as the second one on the set list. There is nothing wrong with the OMEN rendition of “Radar Love”, but it’s not like they are adding anything to it. They stay close to the original and only the guitars are different due to the use of distortion. The other thing on this reissue are the two bonus tracks. The sound on “King” is below par, and even a Brian May sound can’t disguise the fact that this instrumental is rather average. As for “Escape to Nowhere 2.0”, it’s nice to hear a fuller sounding version of the original, but again, it’s not a fulfilling addition to the album.

6 / 10

Had Potential

Songwritting

6

Musicianship

7

Memorability

6

Production

6
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"Escape to Nowhere (Reissue)" Track-listing:

 

1. It's Not Easy
2. Radar Love (Golden Earring Cover)
3. Escape To Nowhere
4. Cry For The Morning
5. Thorn In Your Flesh
6. Poisoned
7. Nomads
8. King Of The Hill
9. No Way Out

10. King (Bonus Track)

11. Escape to Nowhere 2.0 (Bonus Track)   

 

Omen Lineup:

 

Coburn Pharr – Vocals

Kenny Powell – Guitars

Jody Henry – Bass

Steve Wittig – Drums

 

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