|Review: Steel Prophet - Book Of the Dead|
|Book Of the Dead|
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Year released: 2001
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: April 3, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:Book Of the Dead
My first taste of America's Steel Prophet is certainly a tasty one. The band blends the sounds of Fates Warning, Iron Maiden and early Queensrÿche whilst adding a modern touch. Don't let that fool you into believing these guys are just a second rate rip-off. Whilst you can hear the influences, they merely form the foundation to Steel Prophet's sound. Steel Prophet are one of those bands I'd classify as Powerful Metal, a phrase I commonly use for the US school of Power Metal. Book of the Dead is a very strong release, although one I believe takes repeated listens to fully appreciate.
"When Six was Nine" is a blistering opener, with fantastic vocal work courtesy of Rick Mythiasin, proving himself a classic front-man with superior range and powerful delivery – also worth noting is the incredible chorus. The axe work of guitarists Jim Williams and main songwriter Steve Kachinsky is stellar, particularly inventive with some sublime harmonies. "Escaped" is a great track, with some Maiden-esque guitar work and an astounding performance from Rick. However, something I don't like about Book of the Dead is that four of the twelve tracks are instrumentals; they don't necessarily disrupt the flow – quite the opposite – it's just I look at it as eight tracks being relatively short for a full length album. "Burning into Blackness" is another corker, featuring a catchy chorus which I guarantee you'll immediately sing along too.
Really good stuff here and it's certainly worth picking up the 2008 remaster. No bonus tracks are included, but it comes with a nice expanded booklet featuring a band history and comments on the themes to the songs, which I feel is a very nice touch. However these are limited to just 2000 copies, so move fast. All in all an excellent, powerful and charming metal album from one of America's best kept secrets. Highly recommended
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