Alongside Manowar’s first four albums, Manila Road’s Open the Gates and Crystal Logic and Bathory’s (un)holy trilogy, Omen’s Battle Cry is one of the most important chapters in the Holy Bible of epic metal (the same goes with their sophomore effort, Warning Of Danger). However, while the rest of the bunch recognized Sabbath, Rainbow, Wishbone Ash and early Rush as their primal influences, Omen were fervent Iron Maiden disciples, something that reflected clearly on their music. Unlike the others, Omen in Battle Cry played at a significantly higher pace, with thunderous riffs, modestly melodic passages and a craving for dual guitar leads. Their sword and sorcery themed songs followed standard structures that never extended to long epics, and their bloodthirsty heavy metal honestly owed very much to their amazingly powerful singer, JD Kimball, whose brave vocals were truly one of a kind; he wouldn’t reach for the higher notes, he would deliver simple, direct and memorable vocal lines instead.
This all resulted in 10 songs that could be appealing to any US power metal fan as well, exactly because of their relentlessness, which was quite atypical at the time-let’s not lose sight of the fact that the rapidly evolving epic metal scene was then following, consciously or not, Manowar’s “heavy as a slow moving ship in the sea” dogma. What made Omen a standout act and a name worthy of being pronounced in the same breath as the aforementioned epic metal giants though, was their indisputable talent. With songs such as Death Rider, The Axe man, Dragon’s Breath and epic metal’s national anthem, the title track, it wasn’t painful for even the most skeptical to overlook Battle Cry’s lack of balance which made this album slightly inconsistent. Rightfully, Omen quickly gained a relatively small but very devoted fan base, before becoming key figures and, as of today, one of the most important bands in epic metal, as they managed , to match-or maybe even surpass-with their following two records, Warning Of Danger and The Curse, their debut in terms of quality and influence.