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Mystic Prophecy – Metal Division Award winner

Mystic Prophecy
Metal Division
by Rachel Montgomery at 06 January 2020, 8:25 PM

MYSTIC PROPHECY is back for their tenth studio album to be released Jan. 10, 2020. Be ready for it, especially if you’re a fan of traditional Metal. This band has put years of work into their craft and from the varied instrumentals and tight music, it shows.

The album begins with “Metal Division,” a fist-pumping anthem which drum rolls into an intense guitar melody with siren ambiance. The music is tight, and the vocals are impressive. While they’re not clear on this track, the gravel gives the singer some character. The guitar solo begins with rousing chants and leads into an anthemic solo peppered with guitar sweeps that increase in frequency as the song rolls on. It’s a promising start to an intense, hard-hitting album.

While the tracks are mainly mid-tempo to fast, they’re varied throughout the album well. The opening track is followed by “Eye to Eye” which features faster melodies and an uplifting chorus. That song is followed by a much tighter, more anthemic mid-tempo number, “Hail to the King.” The guitar solo in the latter track is a good play on the main melody but keeps the steady pace of the song.

Here Comes the Winter” is my favorite track on the album. The intro features beautiful acoustic melodies. The chorus and refrain are wonderfully intense and the variety in temp keeps this song moving. The ambiance gives the song character and the arpeggio sweeps in the guitar solo are a delight for the ears. It treats the listener to the full-on talent of the vocalist in the first verse, where he doesn’t use gravelly tones and instead, utilizes clear, operatic vocals which show his versatility.

However, the vocal quality in that song doesn’t do any favors for later tracks, especially when the singer is too gravelly. “Dracula” is an example. It has a solid, hooky riff that sticks the song in your head. They complicate the instrumentals with some ambient bells and whistles. However, the vocals sound too coarse and damper the song. Also, in a few songs, the instrumentals can become too electronic for their overall style, putting the music into videogame-sounding territory.

Victory Is Mine” begins with high-pitched sweeps juxtaposed against lower, muddier rhythm guitars. The sweeps in this track are really pronounced, especially in the solo when they jut ahead of the other instrumentals. The vocals rein in the gravel like they did in the opening track, showcasing good projection and character.

Overall, the album is a solid track for fans of the heavier side of traditional Metal. However, a few items hold it back from being great. Mainly, the vocals can become too gravelly in some songs, and the instrumentals can sound too artificial on a couple tracks. However, these criticisms only appeared on a few tracks, and the rest of album is good. In particular, I want to hear more progressive, conceptual tracks like “Here Comes the Winter” from this band in the future. That song in particular showed off the full potential of the band.

Songwriting: 8
Production: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Metal Division
2. Eye to Eye
3. Hail to the King
4. Here Comes the Winter
5. Curse of the Slayer
6. Dracula
7. Together We Fall
8. Die with the Hammer
9. Reincarnation
10. Mirror of a Broken Heart
11. Victory Is Mine
Lineup:
Roberto Dimitri Liapakis – Vocals
Markus Pohl – Guitars
Evan K. – Guitars
Joey Roxx – Bass
Hanno Kerstan – Drums
Record Label: ROAR! Rock of Angels Records
     


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