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"...slow motion running from the figure of evil so near..."
Not a lot of newly cut meat on this six-tracker, what with two originals stacked against a tune from each previous full-lengther (totaling three for those who can’t add) and a live AC/DC cut, but as expected the fresh ones could’ve stood easily enough alone as a single, much like we’ve come to expect from Omen.
“Nightmares” is a little darker than the four-piece’s usually lofty demeanor and pounds with rhythmic purpose, meanwhile speedy and virile “Shock Treatment” benefits from a chorus hard-bitten with gruff backing vocals. Scratching up his voice a bit for both is Kimball, not sounding that bad at all but I personally took it as a frightening glimpse into a future where his normally regal tones turn all sandy and generic.
Then there are the original studio versions of “Dragon’s Breath”, “Termination”, and “Bounty Hunter”, a waste of space to diehard fans or an introduction and/or documentation of yearly progression to new passengers on the boat. Received better than well is their cover of “Whole Lotta Rosie”, the crowd pretty nutty in their Omen-chanted, chorus-shouted ecstasy, and it’s good to hear the guys get that kind of reception, their song or not.
So why the lack of newer material? Well, Kimball leaves after this, so maybe things weren’t going so gold back at the castle: enter the time of woe for Omen fans.
As far as I know this EP was really hard to find, so Metal Blade eventually reissued it as a special in some box set. Later on Metal Blade would release the Nightmares EP with The Curse full- length, which is why I have it. There is a total of five songs including a live cover of AC/DC's Whole Lot Of Rosie.
This EP isn't as good as Omen's debut Battle Cry, but it definitely not bad. Right away the song Nightmares shows us the use of the bass guitar and the power it holds when the guitars are combined. There are some good riffs, but nothing really special about these songs. What brings this EP together is song structure, which is pretty well thought and brought out. For the most part the music is pretty fast with some speed riffs. The singing is well done changing the sound from the first two albums. The beginning of Bounty Hunter has a demon like vocal thing, which has been used by Omen in the past, and gives the songs more meaning. The cover of Whole Lot Of Rosie is done pretty good, and almost sound like AC/DC (besides vocal wise). Production on this song is also fairly good for being a live production.
Overall some decent songs, but nothing really worth dying for. That is of course unless you are a huge diehard Omen fan. I believe that most listeners of this EP have this with the re-release of The Curse full-length album. If that is the case, then it is a well added bonus!