steve kimball

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1985. Warning Of Danger

is the second album by band Omen.

USPM was such a short and area-specific movement that very few bands emerged with more than one classic album; or even more than one decent album. Originally overshadowed by the NWOBHM, thrash would take over in popularity before USPM really had a chance to get off the ground. Only a couple of bands would gain even remote commercial success (Queensryche, Fates Warning, Jag Panzer), and only a handful of others would go on to achieve any significant level of recognition. Omen were one of those bands, and with good reason - Battle Cry is one of the pinnacles of USPM, and the following two albums were nearly as good. Only a few other bands were able to produce three or more quality albums - Helstar, Manilla Road, Shok Paris, Virgin Steele, and Liege Lord are pretty much the extent of that list.

With Warning of Danger is endlessly replayable and hooky as fuck, and if you have a shred of metal in you, it’s a given that you’ll love this, the album is the same quality as their debut Battle Cry.

“…shake the earth without a tear, all are running lost with fear…”

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On this day in music history: April 8, 1982 - “Toto IV”, the fourth album by Toto is released. Produced by Toto, it is recorded at Sunset Sound, Record One in Los Angeles, CA, Hogg Manor in Sherman Oaks, CA and Abbey Road Studios in London, from Mid 1981 - Early 1982. After the release of their poorly received third album “Turn Back” in early 1981, Toto is very aware they must deliver a hit with their next album, or risk being dropped by their label Columbia Records. With band members David Paich, Jeff Porcaro and Bobby Kimball and Steve Lukather writing all of the material (either alone or in tandem), they emerge from the studio with what becomes the most successful album of their career. It spins off four singles including “Rosanna” (#2 Pop), “Africa” (#1 Pop) and “I Won’t Hold You Back” (#10 Pop), winning six Grammy Awards including Record and Album Of The Year" in 1983. The album is also highly regarded its excellent engineering and mixing, and is a favorite of audiophiles. It is recorded and mixed by Greg Ladanyi, Tom Knox, David Leonard and Al Schmitt who all receive Grammy Awards for Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical for their work on “Toto IV”. Following its initial release, it is reissued as a half-speed mastered LP, Mastersound Gold CD and as a single layer SACD disc by Sony Music. A second  SACD release in 2003 features the original two-channel stereo mix and a 5.1 multi-channel surround mix, remixed by engineer Elliot Scheiner. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is reissued as a 180 gram LP by Speakers Corner Records in 2007. The album is also remastered and reissued on CD by Culture Factory Records in 2014 as part of their Vinyl Replica Series, packaged in a mini-LP and inner sleeve replicating the original vinyl release.  It is reissued again by Music On Vinyl in 2012.“Toto IV” peaks at number four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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1984. Battle Cry

is the debut album by band Omen.  

The band was formed in 1983, by lead guitarist Kenny Powell, previously with the band Savage Grace and signed on with Metal Blade.

the album was Production by Brian Slagel   who was known for giving Metallica their first break in 1982, with an appearance on Metal Massacre.

“Battle Cry” is definitely a landmark album, for not only US power metal, but the entire power metal genre in general with its more violent approach to the lyrics and artwork, as well as its undeniable catchy, anthem-like choruses and riffs. If this album isn’t one that you have got to yet, or one that you found to be entirely unenjoyable, then you had better lock your doors because the Axeman will have you bound and gagged.

Battle Cry is without a doubt one of the greatest metal albums.

                 J.D. Kimball     Kenny Powell     Steve Wittig     Jody Henry