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Mike LePond's Silent Assassins - Pawn And Prophecy Award winner

Mike LePond's Silent Assassins
Pawn And Prophecy
by Jason "Monotonija" McCraw at 04 April 2018, 12:28 PM

I've heard a lot of albums as of late that have been able to show a band's musical diversity by means of utilizing many subgenres of Heavy Metal within the same record, changing their sound song by song. Rarely, if ever, have I heard a band meld all of these subgenres together into each and every song. MIKE LEPOND'S SILENT ASSASSINS have achieved this incredible feat with their new offering, "Pawn And Prophecy". This guitar heavy, epic, and dramatic album just screams originality at every turn. Vocalist Alan Tecchio shows a limitless range as his voice flies across the orderly chaos performed by the rest of the band throughout and fits the enigmatic puzzle that is MIKE LEPOND'S SILENT ASSASSINS perfectly, proving to be the finishing piece that helps reveal the mystery picture behind it all.

"Masters Of The Hall" opens the album perfectly, a writhing mixture of sound exhibiting elements of Thrash, early '80s roots Heavy Metal, and riff-heavy melodic stylings reminiscent of HELLOWEEN. The track is long, filled to overflowing with style and tempo changes, and thoroughly engaging from beginning to end. The second outing, "Black Legend", is a more Traditional Metal song that pretty much sticks to a single style in its entirety, yet does so in a way that it retains its air of enjoyability regardless. The track "Antichrist" reaches for the stars, and achieves masterpiece status with its thunderous bass lines, manic riffing, and a lead guitar line that widens the eyes and expands the listener's mind beyond reason.

"I Am The Bull", another epic piece of music, somehow manages to blend countless stylings together into a raging inferno of pitch-perfect Metal. Sounds of old such as LEAF HOUND, ATOMIC ROOSTER, and BLUE OYSTER CULT are gently stirred into a base liquid of newer treatments like TOOL, PRIMUS, and 3. The result is a mind boggling, spectacular song that absolutely slays. This tremendous display of artistry leads straight into "Avengers Of Eden", a rip roaring blend of JUDAS PRIEST, MALMSTEEN'S RISING FORCE, and BAD BRAINS that shows yet another side to this stellar project. The whole album owes its playability to its tendency to keep the listener actively questioning what's going to happen next with nearly every four bars.

"Pawn And Prophecy" barrels on with "Hordes Of Fire", a nice chunk of fast and intricate Metal riffing. "The Mulberry Tree", with an acoustic guitar solo the likes of which I've never heard before, tells a tragic tale of love, life, and death over a tune full of Folky goodness and mystifying passages that pays homage to what NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS did throughout the years. The album's final track, also its title track, is a nonstop firework show finale, filled to bursting with raw energy, technical prowess, and imagination. It showcases all that MIKE LEPOND'S SILENT ASSASSINS are capable of as an entire band, stretching all genre boundaries to their snapping point, and letting go as it explodes into something both beautiful and magical with a willpower all of its own. In short, this is one of those extremely original works that is not to be missed. "Pawn And Prophecy" is all prophet, no pawn, as it doesn't need any bait in order to pull the listener in upon the sparkling sands of its uncharted shoreline. This record is a monument to all that is Metal, and so much more. The best album I've heard all year thus far!

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Masters Of The Hall
2. Black Legend
3. Antichrist
4. I Am The Bull
5. Avengers Of Eden
6. Hordes Of Fire
7. The Mulberry Tree
8. Pawn And Prophecy
 
Lineup:
Alan Tecchio - Vocals
Mike LePond – Guitars and Bass
Michael Romeo - Keyboards, Guitars, and Drum Programming
Lance Barnewold - Guitars
Rod Rivera – Guitars
 
Record Label: Frontiers Music SRL
     


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