After three albums and one EP of critically lauded but frustratingly unsuccessful, British-inspired American heavy metal, Californians Omen found themselves torn right down the middle; caught in a creative power struggle which ultimately resulted in guitarist Kenny Powell and bassist Jody Henry parting ways with vocalist J.D. Kimball and drummer Steve Wittig before setting about recording their next, sadly ill-fated and ironically suitably named, next album, Escape to Nowhere. Arriving in stores in 1988, by which point America's heavy metal landscape had been decisively (and, in retrospect, fatally) split between chart-minded glam metal and staunchly anti-establishment thrash, the album's confused positioning in the wishy-washy no man's land between (with a glam-like cover but tepid at-times-thrash inside) pretty much sealed its doom from the get-go. A forgettable cover of Golden Earring's "Radar Love" was tellingly sequenced second in an obvious show of no confidence in the group's original songs, which, with titles like "It's Not Easy," "Poisoned," and "No Way Out" seemed eerily prophetic of bad things to come. And based on the creeping "Thorn in Your Flesh," one would almost think that Omen were trying to emulate equally floundering Metal Blade labelmates Cirith Ungol, when employing new vocalist Coburn Pharr's gravelly whine -- odd. In any case, Escape to Nowhere's resounding failure wound up spelling the end of Omen's rough ride through the '80s (though Kimball would eventually revive the group with new sidemen in the late '90s), just as Pharr was being poached by rising Canadian thrashers Annihilator.
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia