Sunday, September 2, 2012

Black Sunday: Omen - Warning of Danger (1985)

As Metal Blade celebrates its 30th Anniversary, it seems fitting to dig deep to find the oldest of their albums on my shelf for this Black Sunday. Ironically, it's a record I attained only several weeks ago that dates back farthest, Omen's sophomore effort, the spectacular Warning of Danger, from 1985. As close as I have heard to a distinctly American Maiden, Omen sleeves terrified and titillated my younger self and any musical encounters I had with them in their heyday were solely of the "my pal's big brother has it and we can sneak in and check it out while he's gone" variety. I'm doing my best to track these jewels down in the present and Warning of Danger is a definite high point of recent record bin diving.

From its evil sleeve (and probably the most benign of the band's first three releases), to its no-nonsense band pics on the reverse, Warning of Danger as physical product could be really any heavy metal record I fondled and fawned over in the mid-80s. Seemingly as disposable as comic books at the time, there's little presumption present in the packaging though the record does include a lyric sheet as well as a mail-away offer for t-shirts and buttons. I consumed these sounds and images with little discrimination and, sadly, never followed (and quickly forgot) many of these bands. I'm fascinated today, musically, by how damn good Omen were and am left wondering two things: 1) what the hell happened to these guys? and 2) what's the story behind "Fuck Stick" and "Dick Dog?"

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