Steel Prophet

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Steel Prophet - Messiah ©2000 Nuclear Blast
1. The Ides Of March
2. Messiah
3. Vengeance Attained
4. Mysteries Of Iniquity
5. Dawn Of Man
6. Earth And Sky
7. Goddess Arise
8. Unseen
9. 07\03\47
10. Rapture
11. Ghosts Once Past

The persistence of this kind of metal into the 2000s is baffling to me. I suppose the music itself is legitimate, and one has to cater to those metal fans who were too young to catch Helloween and Iron Maiden at their peak. Why Angra took off when they came out is enough of a mystery; why Steel Prophet should get so much as a record deal in 1999, let alone Nuclear Blast's attention, is utterly flabbergasting.

In a nutshell, Steel Prophet's Messiah is exactly the same kind of music that Helloween played in the late 80s, with the exact same galloping guitars, voice, singing style, guitar harmonies, lyrical subject matter (from what I can tell). The vocalist sounds just like an older incarnation of Michael Kiske blended with a touch of Dio and a smidgen of Andre Matos. The other musicians are competent (except for a bad clam in the guitar harmony, track four, 1:43, right channel). But there's nothing on this record that hasn't already been done, and in a much fresher and more exciting way.

This is dull. Go buy some Faith No More instead.

Review by Rog The Frog Billerey-Mosier

Review date: 09/2000

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Book Of The Dead

Steel Prophet - Book Of The Dead ©2001 Nuclear Blast
1. When Six Was Nine
2. Tragic Flaws
3. Escaped
4. Soleares
5. Church Of Mind
6. Burning Into Blackness
7. The Chamber
8. Locked Out
9. Ruby Dreams (Faith And Hope)
10. Phobia
11. Anger Seething
12. Oleander

Although there's the question of musical redundancy when it comes to current bands playing the music of their favorites from the 80s, Steel Prophet's Book of the Dead is one of those albums that although you've heard this before from their influences, it's rather hard to fully dislike. As with Iced Earth, Steel Prophet plays a form of what is becoming classic metal with high pitched, soaring vocals (although household pets aren't likely to flee in abject terror over Rick Mythiasin's octave, which is a tad lower than most), rumbling guitars with plenty of harmonies and speedy leads and a feel that is out of the book of older Queensryche, Crimson Glory or even a touch of Heir Apparent given a dose of amphetamines. Book of the Dead is often surprisingly aggressive and offers more than a few fast paced songs such as "Phobia" or "Tragic Flaws". But even though I did find Steel Prophet just revisiting the ideas of the bands they themselves listened to in their youth, I didn't find Book of the Dead revolting for it. The band peppers their music with quite a few tasty leads, reasonably catchy songwriting and solid chops throughout. While this isn't likely to encourage me to wear all leather clothing, pump my fist for the power of metal and encourage mass consumption of malt liquor while parked in a Camaro, I can definitely recommend this as a old school metal album for those who still have some space left on their CD racks.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 052/2001

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