American quartet Omen is nothing less than a blast from the past. Having originally been formed back in 1983, the band has disbanded only to reform again in 1996. Despite their short break fom the lamp light, it would seem that the band never lost track of exactly what kind of Power Metal that they wanted to play: Hammer Damage, despite only being a few months old, is, in every aspect, a little piece of musical history. It is almost as if the decades between when the band first formed and today never really happened. Omen still plays very simple, catchy Power Metal, with just a hint of the epic sound that bands such as Rhapsody of Fire loves to employ. Music-wise, however, I would venture that Hammer Damage more closely resembles mid-era Blind Guardian than any Rhapsody of Fire album; Albeit a bit more toned down than even their German counterparts. All in all, Omen do what they have done sicne their inception, which makes their sound both easily recognizable as well as a treat for old-school fans. However, this very same concept might also serve as a deterrent when introduced to a newer audience – After all, they offer nothing new, and stick to a traditional recipe, the same they started out with. Do not get me wrong, Omen is an excellent band, and Hammer Damage also exemplifies this; However, it is not likely to become an album that I will remember as being particularly good. That being said, tracks such as ”Era of Crisis” definitely serve as a reminder of what Power Metal used to be (and how it is done properly).