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Review: Omen - Teeth of the Hydra
Teeth of the Hydra

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 1989
Duration: 47:00
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: November 11, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.22/5 (84.44%) (18 Votes)

Well this is cool. Omen were one of those essential 80's bands that I somehow missed. I have that one album "Escape To Nowhere" with Coburn Pharr on vocals, but to be honest it sucks ass, and I wondered why anybody made a big deal about these guys. But after hearing so many good things about this band I finally picked this up when I ran across it in the store. "Teeth Of The Hydra" is a best-of compilation that gleans good tracks from all the Omen albums. It was put out after the band had more or less fallen apart, no doubt with the intention of sucking more money out of the band's fans.

Label intentions aside, this rules. I am a big fan of low-fi 80's metal, and this is about as basic as you can get. There's no trendiness here, just chugging riffs, cool songwriting, and the rough and ready vocals of the late JD Kimball. This is just great stuff, from the fist-pumping chorus of "Termination", the awesome riffage of "Teeth Of The Hydra", the epic "Hell's Gates" – the only so-so track here is "Thorn In Your Flesh" off the abysmal "Escape To Nowhere" album (at least they didn't put the awful cover version of "Radar Love" on here-ugh.) I just love this kind of metal, and if you do too this will really hit the spot.

The booklet is minimal, with one band photo and no lyrics, but the cover is pretty cool. You'd think they'd go all-out for a retrospective, but I suppose Metal Blade wanted to maximize profits by skimping on the packaging. Another sign that this was put out strictly as a pocket-liner.

I love this music, and I'm going to have to look into getting some proper albums by this band. Omen just have that magic, that true-metal feel that so few bands since 1988 have managed to keep. This is the kind of music that reminds you of why you liked metal in the first place. For True Heavy Metal fans only!

More about Omen...
Review: Battle Cry (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Battle Cry (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Eternal Black Dawn (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Hammer Damage (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: The Curse (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Warning of Danger (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with guitarist Kenny Powell on January 5, 2019 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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