Friday, April 12, 2013

Omega Reign-Arise

Itchy Metal Entertainment

Somehow this one slipped passed me as it was released back in November of 2012. Usually traditional heavy metal acts mark my internal radar go off, but this Massachusetts-based 5-piece sneaked by me like a thief in the night. Oh well & hell. Anyway, Omega Reign, who were formed in 1998 by guitarist Gene Felix, have shared the stage with the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Steven Adler of Guns and Roses, Wasp, George Lynch of Dokken, Bullet Boys, Taproot and many more. "Arise", a 9-track affair, is their only recording to date it looks like. It has to be said up-front that for a self-released album the production is rather good. If anything it sounds like a late-80's/early-90's recording and that, in this concept, works really well. All of the music is written by guitarists Gene Felix and David Bowman and, along with vocalist Hank Perry, bassist Scott Langevin and drummer Tyrone Williams (all of whom sound like class-act professionals) navigate heavy metals landscape. Influenced by bands like Dio, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Queensrÿche and Savatage the band plays true, straight-ahead heavy metal that is, sadly it seems, lacking in this day and edge. "Arise", which is about 40 minutes in length, is a fun listen as it stays true to the spirit of true/traditional heavy metal (it's as if this could be a blue-print on how to make a heavy metal album!) while never over-staying it's welcome or becoming Über-cheesy. Vocalist Hank Perry has a real eighties power-metal vibe going for him and I'm frankly amazed that this is his only recording as he handles cuts like "The Way You Lived" and "Killer" like a pro. Of course the guitar work of Felix and Bowman help a lot in making Omega Reign stand out (for the record the rhythm section is really good too) as the pair channel the metal gods (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Megadeth and Anthrax) through-out "Arise". The Metallica-like "Invisible World / The Eidolon" is killer and "Doomsday", a heavy crunch of a rocker, reminded me somewhat of Ohio's cult-metal act Midevil. “This Poem is Goodbye” is probably the only toss-off as this ballad-like rocker kills what would otherwise be a stealer album. At least the slightly more rock oriented "Prison in Your Eyes", which sounds like a mash-up of Rainbow, Queensrÿche and early Megadeth to these ears, moves along without any real hang-ups. One track out of nine then is pretty solid making "Arise" a real treat for fans of hard & heavy, traditional heavy metal and US power metal (eighties-style!). You can find out more about Omega Reign at the link below.

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