Mystic Prophecy

Fireangel

Written by: EW on 20/05/2009 00:37:47

I have found myself listening to Mystic Prophecy's new album, "Fireangel" more times than I would have cared to in order to come up with something interesting to say about it, but right now I'm getting bored of trying so here goes anyway. Mystic Prophecy are a German/Greek power metal band (can I end it now PP?) who sound how you would expect a German/Greek power metal band to sound - loud, proud and heavy metal to the core.

Shall we start with what is good about "Fireangel", MP's album number 6? The production is of course clear and concise - every drum hit perfectly weighted and audible, all string departments in their correct position and of course a vocalist in R.D. Liapakis who has a very strong set of pipes, capable of hitting harsh low tones and the shattering higher ones comfortably. The album cover is well crafted, if you like the typically busy, graphical style favoured by 'modern' sounding bands (I don't), telling a story with these various factors present in its dark construction. And well, there's a few shredding solos here and there, but frankly nothing you wouldn't have heard in this genre before.

But let's get to where the money is: the songs. There are two devastatingly crucial facets in which I believe MP fail in this area. Firstly, the diversity of song is minimal. Not just on this album, not just within this band, but the entire fucking genre. In what must be 95% of heavy/power metal songs you can pretty accurately predict how the song will flow - when the chorus will hit, when it will speed up and slow down... When you're 15 and first discover this style it is cool and interesting but not to an old fart like myself. Failure two, and this is the biggy: the riffs. If you pay attention to the key one or two riffs that each song is based on, can you hum them? Would you say they are 'interesting', or 'well-written'? Will they encourage a kid to pick up a guitar in order to play THAT riff? I find similarities in the riffs and song construction of Mystic Prophecy to obvious names like Firewind, Sacred Steel, Edguy, Lion's Share and Dream Evil - they all at most will have one or two great riffs but the majority will be monotonous and non-descript and very similar to each other.

Mr. Liapakis sounds unnervingly similar to Tim Aymar, best known as the vocalist in Control Denied's only album "The Fragile Art of Existence". This is a great compliment to him, but serves as a benchmark to show how originality and finesse bled into heavy metal can result in gems like those Chuck Schuldiner and co created. Noone in metal will ever touch his ability but it begs the question - why settle for third rate when there is so much better out there? Of course though, if you are 35 and German or Greek, or 15 and still growing your hair long, then none of these statements apply and you are permitted to enjoy "Fireangel", just without me.

4

Download: Across The Gates Of Hell, We Kill You Die
For The Fans Of: Dream Evil, Lion’s Share, Edguy
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 22.05.09
Massacre Records

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