one should be familiar to most dedicated fans of NWOBHM as well as Epic
Metal (i.e. everyone). If not, gather around and I will tell ye a tale
of the the most violet Metal album ever...
A quick peek in the NWOBHM-encyclopedia tells us how how the band started
out as APOCALYPSE, released a 7" in 1982 (which is probably 10 times
as rare as this LP), later changed their name to OMEGA, featured a track
on Ebony's Metal Warriors-compilation LP in 83 and finally
released this their only full-length effort in '85. "The Prophet"
does indeed give the impression of a stable and mature band who'd taken
their time to develop an original and atmospheric sound; a more prog-tinged,
highbrow (British?) version of their broadsword-wielding, barbarian cousins
overseas. All 3 tracks on the A-side move in the same slow, graceful tempo.
I'd say 'doomy', but OMEGA's music is more solemn than dark & gloomy,
even if the powerful "The Dark" has it's sneaky/creepy moments.
Thankfully they never get all-out, bloody wimpy prog-rock and the sound
of the powerchord is there in every song to save them from that evil cesspool
of pretentiousness and self-abuse. All hail the powerchord! Side-B offers
a much more varied array of metalia. The up-tempo "Yesterday's Children"
is almost 'pure' MANOWARian Epic Power Metal and it's fucking brilliant,
then suddenly out of the bl.. violet, comes a solid NWOBHM-rocker. "Drive
Me Crazy" is as catchy and uplifting as it is unexpected. The BEATLES-cover
"Day Tripper" is... a BEATLES-cover. Wow... That's fucked. "The
Child" makes a return to the epic, atmospheric sound they're 'famous'
for and it's just about the best song on the album. Another great ending
to another great record.
Should not the original LP turn up on you Metal hunting trails, there's
a vinyl and CD-reissue out on Akarma's offshoot-label Metal Legions. (No
APOCALYPSE bonus stuff though, cheap cunts.) It's almost an essential,
but at the risk of sounding critical for sake of being critical, OMEGA
do tend to overemphasize feeling and structure over truly memorable riffs
and harmonies. Even though it's an instantly likable album, it doesn't
cling in your mind in the same merciless, fingers-to-the-bone manner as
similars like Jersey-LEGEND or DARK QUARTERER. It still pisses all over
every single Ebony record ever made though.