A cool feature of running a metal radio show such as Shredding Metal Beasts for the past 6-years (7 in August) is I get the opportunity to listen to a lot of bands, promoting so many of them, exploring tons of subgenres and crossovers it’s incredible, and while I’ve heard a track or two from Mystic Prophecy, I’ve had the chance to hear and even play a full album of theirs now. The power metal fanbase varies greatly, and the vocalists, they deliver the far-ranging notes, hence the mainstay singer R.D. Liapakis does with enthusiasm, holding his rightful position since the first album Vengeance . Now, with their 11th studio album and the first for the Rock of Angels Records label, they have the hooks to grab listeners’ attention.
The title and opening track “Metal Division” unleashes the latest effort into a full explosion of power metal, with classic headbanging gusto, before “Eye to Eye” follows in the same mode however, repeat lyrics just fill out the song (done a few times on the album), is never really needed, just let the music do all the convincing, especially the hint of thrash. If seeking some epic metal intensity then the third track “Hail To The King” which sounds quite like classic Hammerfall, while the lyrics and vocals echo back Ronnie James Dio of the Rainbow era. Then the band seems to give their impression of Iron Maiden, with the fourth song “Here Comes the Winter,” even the vocalist truly owns the song. With Markus and Evan shredding at the key times throughout the song, this extends into the next track but ratchets up further, with the curious title of “Curse of the Slayer/666: 8 Messiah”. The sixth song is likeliest the heaviest of the album, called “Dracula” which tells an interesting story of the blood lusting creature, the entire band is into the song, from the shredding guitars, Joey’s solid base line, and the intensity of Hanno on the drums.
While “Die with the Hammer” starts slow the relentless drums pound the metal into your skull, taking cues from the previous song, the headbanging lives onward, with some rhythm guitar work leading the charge midway through the track. The final song “Victory Is Mine” brings the epic metal from earlier back into the main focus and gives the long-time listeners and fast, what they have come to really enjoy with the band.
Eye to Eye
Hail to the King
Here Comes the Winter
Curse of the Slayer / 666: 8 Messiah
Die with the Hammer
Mirror of a Broken Heart
Victory Is Mine
Roberto Dimitri Liapakis – Vocals
Markus Pohl – Guitars (rhythm)
Joey Roxx – Bass
Hanno Kerstan – Drums
Evan K – Guitars (lead)
It’s a straightforward metal album with power metal influences throughout it, now it isn’t Helloween rather think of Gamma Ray and easily understand that intensity. The music contains a lot of the normal themes for this subgenre, such as Death and Revenge. The only complaint is the repeating of lyrics, often with power metal vocalists finds themselves becoming lost within the music, if that’s the worry then add another stanza or include more songs.
Baron’s Rating: 4.0/5.0