1. Skull Bong 2. Smokescreen 3. Never Coming Back 4. Roarin' Through 5. Steady Stream Of Souls 6. Scattered Ashes 7. Darkness 8. Endless Winter 9. Turn To Stone 10. Hostile City
With the recent sub-par effort from Corrosion Of Conformity leaving me a bit under the weather, Omegalord has surfaced to breathe new life into my haggard, doom parched soul. I never thought I would say that COC was shown up by anyone, but indeed folks Omegalord has released a real gem with "Hammer Down", a ballbuster retro record of Sabbath chops and Motorhead swing. It never ceases to amaze me how these underground bands seem to be the cream of the crop these days. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, these bench riders just step up to the plate and give it everything they have. How difficult that task must be? To sit and watch "the game" being played, waiting for your opportunity to join the team, and then bang, you are called on to give it your best shot. One shot at glory, win or lose. And winning is the name of the game, but not so much with the suits and ties these days, but with just finding an audience. I really believe the fans are starting to control the Hot Topic, demanding to hear what they want to hear. So, in this particular case I believe Omegalord has found their audience, and only time will tell how far their audience will go to insure the group's success.
Outside of a few EPs this is the debut from the group. Omegalord was formed in 2001 in and around Philadelphia, with the band's focus on a hard rock revolution. With this new album the band seems to be leading the cause, a monumental uprising to push the envelope and allow more metal wattage into the hard rock fascade. Led by the pulpit preaching of The Reverend, this school of worship cuts their teeth on the sounds of the 70s, really combining two monsters together with Black Sabbath and Stephenwolf. Their rough and tumble style fits like a glove, delivering bone breaking grooves with sweat and vigor. With the combination of Deebo and J. Sun, the group's guitar sound is just rattling, with plenty of doom drenched anthems carrying the record from top to bottom. Fans of Black Label Society, Monster Magnet, and even Queens Of The Stone Age will find plenty to like here, but I honestly think the more hardcore doom enthusiasts will find much more.
Right out of the gate is "Skull Bong", a rip roar ride of bottom heavy groove. The Reverend is the commander here, with his muscle showing through with a rough, street smart voice that seems to have a more southern luster to it. Zak Wylde comes to mind but honestly I feel that The Reverend has a smoother delivery and approach. J. Sun and Deebo show off amazing strengths, but bassist Chauncy delivers some solid lines that are really upfront in the mix. "Smokescreen" could have been written by COC, with a faster, almost punk inspired arrangement that showcases the band's speed and finesse. The Steppenwolf influence shines on "Roarin' Through", while England's leading doom brigade, Cathedral, injects some inspiration in "Hostile City", a cut that has a Lee Dorian type of effect. Favorite cuts for me are "Never Coming Bak", "Skull Bong", and "Turn To Stone".
This is probably one of the better debuts I've heard in recent memory. This is true as steel, raw metal power that doesn't seem to have any limitations. It is hard to find this much energy on an album these days but Omegalord proves they are different, they are truly in this for the long, brutal haul. I wish the band the absolute best of luck. The planet needs more of these types, the rugged, top heavy bands that just don't give a damn about trends or who's who. These are the blue collar warriors, backstreet brawlers with one goal and one goal only, to step up and DELIVER. Out of the fog of pool hall smoke, dim lights, and empty bottles comes Omegalord, your rock and roll saviour.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: These guys ROCK! Very well put together and as ballsy as you can get. --Nailer
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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