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Prophets of the Apocalpyse - Threshold of War

Prophets of the Apocalypse
Threshold of War
by Neil Cook at 29 January 2020, 2:49 PM

Coming out of Tennessee USA, PROPHETS OF THE APOCALYPSE are Pete Serro.  This is his quest to invade our lands with his brand of Dark Thrash, a blend of classic Thrash with darker Doom metal. Pete plays, guitar, bass and drums, and adds his vocal stylings to the album too. “Threshold Of War” is the 2 slab of music. The Debut EP from 2018 “War Metal”, set the heavy tone, this one takes us to heavier darker places.

The album literally rises from the ”Ashes”, definitely no gentle lead in. We are met with an aural assault straight off the bat that illustrates the melding of Thrash musicality with Death Metal vocal stylings. “Maze Of Doom” is exactly that, a heavy, doom-laden chugger of a track, built on a brilliant almost SABBATH bass and guitar sound, but still with a growling vocal.  A classic slow head banger.

On the other hand “Burn The Dead” scarred the heck out of me, the low, practically whispered rasp of vocals contains so much menace and brooding, the track plunges to the darkest depths, and leaves the listener cold and shivering in the corner. “Shield Maiden” however, is the sort of melodic Death Metal, the likes of AMON AMARTH are known for, and with a title like that we are in similar thematic realms of the Vikings.

“Trophies Of War”, another slow brooding build up of a song, Serro employing the whispering menace at the start building to a growl as the song progresses.  For me there were points with almost too much going on musically, and the song just sort of ends. “Dead Winters Night” is the most straight ahead Thrash song on the album, including the vocals, and it benefits from being so, one of the best songs on the album.

After the first 6 songs,  I found “Hierarchy of Terror” and the instrumental “Ancient Wars” to be not to my liking, both being a densely packed hot blast of sound, perhaps both being overly long, packed with ideas, but for me I didn’t think work as well for this reason. Less would have been more. However “Never Retreat, Never Surrender” is a shorter song, and back in a more straight ahead Thrash come Viking soundscape.  The song works, the vocals work, and although the ending is abrupt, it has one. And “Crush Thy Enemy” is similar, although again borders on becoming too much, but Serro pulls it back from the precipice.

The final song, “Skye Ablaze”, has a lot going on, not all of it works, but there is some excellent, almost melodic guitar parts in the song, others parts where it wails like a banshee and howls daemon. I’ll be honest at first listen I didn’t like the album, more than the odd tune, but it does benefit from further listens. I would say at times there is far too much going on, detrimentally. Pete Serro is an obviously accomplished musician, but I think at times the album could have done with another to say when to reign things back.  Not a perfect album but a good one.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Ashes
2. Maze Of Doom
3. Burn The Dead
4. Shield Maiden
5. Trophies Of War
6. Dead Winter Night
7. Hierarchy Of Terror
8. Ancient Wars
9. Never Retreat, Never Surrender
10. Crush Thy Enemy
11. Skye Ablaze
Peter Serro: Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Drums 
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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Edited 30 November 2022

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