|Review: Steel Prophet - Dark Hallucinations|
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Year released: 2008
Originally released in: 1999
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: April 16, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Rated 4.27/5 (85.45%) (11 Votes)
Widely regarded amongst fans as Steel Prophet's finest release, Dark Hallucinations sees Steve Kachinsky and the gang at their most daring and inventive. With the bulk of Steel Prophet's material reminding me of Iron Maiden and the US school of Power Metal, it's a surprise to see them walking around a different path here – taking cues from No Exit-era Fates Warning and some heavier Thrash sections reminiscent of Testament. There is a notable rise in quality here, be it the fantastic arrangements of the songs or the face-melting guitar work, which reminds me of the great Jeff Loomis. Rick Mythiasin sounds bad ass commanding an impressive range and a much more aggressive style of delivery – in places he sounds like Bruce Dickinson on his solo releases. The first four tracks and track six are based on the Ray Bradbury book Fahrenheit 451, however the tracks are in a non-linear structure to help the album flow – of course it is possible to listen to these tracks in order.
Kicking off the show is the furious "Montag" serving up incredible guitar work, ranging from melodic Power Metal to thrashy riffage, this track rip-roars over your speakers leaping between aggression and melody. At one point near the end of the track we're assaulted with a seething blastbeat-ridden riff sounding similar to something Nevermore would write. From here onwards we have a fantastic mix between fury and melody, "New Life" is one of the most melodic tracks on offer, featuring a cool chorus and some classy guitar work. One thing noticeable about Dark Hallucinations is the use of multi-guitar tracks which gives a very rich sound. "Betrayal" features some very cool guitars and the main riff for the verse really kicks, certainly one of the heavier tracks here where you can here some of the John "Midnight" McDonald influence in Rick's vocals. The pace doesn't let up; following the awesome "Betrayal" is the most aggressive track on the album – the furious "Look What You've Done" featuring a rip-roaring guitar solo knocking the taste right out of my mouth. Another highlight is the NWOBHM-inspired "Spectres" doing it better than a lot of acts on the circuit were back then.
Also included is an awesome cover of Fates Warning's "The Apparition" that ultimately ends up being not as cool as the original, but still a good cover. As with the rest of the Steel Prophet re-releases I've covered this comes in a nice digipak, limited numbered release featuring extended liner notes. Certainly worth tracking down if you're a newcomer to the band or just a completionist. Overall an awesome release from a very reliable act. If you miss the Fates Warning and Queensrÿche of old then these guys are certainly for you. One of the USA's finest exports at the height of their game - Highly Recommended.
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