Album Reviews

Mystic Prophecy – War Brigade

I’m sure you’ve all heard the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. In the case of German power metallers Mystic Prophecy, this statement could not be truer!

Since 2000, Mystic Prophecy has been churning out heavy as hell power metal platters with melody, heavy riffs with sonic devastation. After a two-year hiatus, the band is set to release their latest metal opus, titled War Brigade, on May 6, 2016 through Massacre Records.

Stylistically, the band has not strayed at all from the formula that has worked for them for so long on their recent albums 2013’s Killhammer and 2011’s Ravenlord. The music is brutal but filled with melody and the incredibly powerful voice of lead vocalist R.D. Liapakis. As usual, the sound quality on War Brigade is top notch. The mix was done by Fredrik Nordström at Studio Fredman (Sabaton, Powerwolf, In Flames, Arch Enemy, etc.) and produced and mastered by R.D. Liapakis and C. Schmid at Music Factory/Prophecy Studios in Kempten, Germany (Devil’s Train, Suicidal Angels, Firewind, Steel Prophet, etc.).

The album kicks off with a huge wall of drums and heavy riffing and sonic maelstrom of Follow The Blind. The verses are full of rage and bombast and the chorus has a melodic hook with Liapakis in fine voice as always! The bottom end is well represented with the rythms section of bassist Joey Roxx and drummer Tristan Maiwurm keeping things tight and precise. Next up is a horns in the air, metal anthem, appropriately titled Metal Brigade. This is the type of song that was meant to be played in a live setting. The rhythm is pounding and melody is infectious. The chorus is huge and chock full of melody, perfect for singing along in concert!

A wall of wailing guitars and drums permeate the fast and furious Burning Out, a song filled with an 80’s style thrash metal pace and sound but the vocals of Liapakis bring the melody to cut through the cacophony of riffs. The melodic aspect of Mystic Prophecy is on display on the catchy and hook-laden metal hymn, The Crucifix, a huge chorus with a shout-a-long refrain, another perfect song to be played live.

Pray For Hell is another heavy and dirty power metal song with a razor sharp guitar riff with an old school metal mentality. Liapakis is particularly aggressive on this song, using a deeper more guttural vocal style combined with his usual melodic bluesy rasp.

Things slow down slightly on the mid-tempo melodic track 10,000 Miles Away. The song is chock full of soaring melodies and blistering guitars solos from the guitar tandem of Markus Pohl and Laki Ragazas. The band has a knack for writing catchy metal anthems and A Good Day to Die is no exception, another perfect example of the trademark Mystic Prophecy song, melodic, heavy, and a huge shouting chorus.

The next track, The Devil Is Back, is another fast paced rocker with a great catchy chorus, thrashing drums, and the charismatic vocals of Liapakis. The band goes full on melodic power metal on War Panzer, with a barrage of heavy riffs and harmony guitars. The chorus is another winner that will have the listener headbanging with their horns in the air. Fight For One Nation has a flurry of riffs and thrashing drums that are reminiscent of classic Slayer, if Slayer were a power metal band with an actual real singer of course!

The last proper song on the album is the grooving and heavy War Of Lies. Plenty of shredding guitar leads and harmony guitar solos to go along with the fast pounding drums and riffs. The chorus is another crowd pleaser that will have fans raising their fists in the air!

The bonus track on the digipak is an odd but fun and rousing cover of the Tom Jones classic Sex Bomb, which is a fun metalized cover with tongue firmly planted in cheek, given the Mystic Prophecy metal treatment. A fun and suprising way to end another great metal release from one of the most dependable metal bands in the power metal genre!

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