Mystic Prophecy - War Brigade

Mystic Prophecy - War Brigade

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(CD, Massacre Records, 2016)

It’s funny how the mind works sometimes, especially when it comes to realizing how fast time flies; I mean, I am still considering MYSTIC PROPHECY as a relative young band, but the moment I checked that “War Brigade” is the ninth LP of a two and a half decades of history, I just had to get my ducks in a row. One thing is for sure, though: MYSTIC PROPHECY is a rather underrated band (I have no idea what is their status here in the States) with consistently high quality albums and despite the Power Metal-sounding moniker, the band’s musical identity has strong Heavy Metal roots with occasional Hard Rock breaks.

Ok, the Power Metal attitude of the “Follow The Blind” cannot go unnoticed although Liapakis’ voice has more to offer than the usual single and high-pitched singing that is so common among European bands of this ilk. In fact, I will credit his wide ranged singing for differentiating MYSTIC PROPHECY from the pretty much predictable Euro Power sound. I mean, the melodic phrases and the harshness in his voice make a huge difference spreading the influences along a wider Heavy Metal spectrum. The German origin of Markus Pohl is highlighted in the tight rhythm guitar section where the Teutonic Metal easily comes to mind in songs like the album’s title track and the groovy as hell “The Devil Is Back” which contains headbanging worthy material. MYSTIC PROPHECY’s easy-to-identify music character is highlighted in the amazing “The Crucifix” with the most melodic and catchy vocal lines that will get stuck from the very first album spins. It’s not a shocking surprise that this song was selected to make a video because it captures the energy and the diversity in MYSTIC PROPHECY’s music (sure, there is some early HELLOWEEN in the lead guitars). After this, comes a heavy surprise with the fast “Pray To Hell” that after the initial riff-based intro kicks the door down with pounding drums and a deep growl from hell (no pun intended). There is almost Hard Rock backbone in this one and if you fail to see this (or hear it) then check the almost Power ballad “10.000 Miles Away” and you’ll get what I am talking about. There are two songs inspired by the Ancient Greek history having the first Special Forces team in military history on the spotlight; yes, I am referring to Sparta’s finest army who get praised in epic “Good Day To Die” (ok, the movie excerpt from “300” has little to do with history) and the spirit-lifting “Fight For One Nation” that will send you shivers down your spine with the killer guitar leads. In case you’ll be wondering, the strange sounding lyric line “Ytan i epitas” translates into “bring (the shield) back as winner or they'll bring you dead on it” and it was something the Spartan mothers would say to their sons before sending them to war. The meaning was simple; come back victorious or dead.

“War Panzer” is another hit-to-be song with a killer main riff and once again, over the top singing by Liapakis especially in the way he delivers the chorus - just awesome! Of course, the title “Sex Bomb” seems out of place for a MYSTIC PROPHECY album but the truth is that it’s a cover on the Tom Jones super-hit from the late '90s and actually it's a pretty damn good one. I mean, the band did not take the usual 'let’s get in the studio and record this in one take'; the tight rhythm section is of headbanging quality while the leads and fills sound like there was some work done. Liapakis owns the song to such an extent that he may have Mr. Tom Jones as an influence... haha.

“War Brigade” is a granite solid piece of Heavy Metal with lots of guitar action and awesome singing. The tracklist has no fillers and, in fact, I think there is a lot of material to include in the shows supporting this fine album. Can this album crack the tough nutshell of the US market? I hope it will but I wouldn’t bet my life on it... (unfortunately).

9/10


Links:

www.MysticProphecy.Net
www.MySpace.com/MysticProphecy
www.Facebook.com/MysticProphecy
www.Twitter.Com/Mystic_Metal


Tracklist:

01. Follow The Blind
02. Metal Brigade
03. Burning Out
04. The Crucifix
05. Pray To Hell
06. 10.000 Miles Away
07. Good Day To Die
08. The Devil Is Back
09. War Panzer
10. Fight For One Nation
11. War Of Lies
12. Sex Bomb


Lineup:

Roberto Dimitri Liapakis - Vocals
Markus Pohl - Rhythm Guitar
Laki Ragazas - Lead Guitar
Joey Roxx - Bass
Tristan Maiwurm - Drums