|Review: Steel Prophet - Omniscient|
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Year released: 2014
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: November 17, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Even if you have only a passing familiarity with L.A.'s Steel Prophet, the sound of the band's eighth studio album, 2014's Omniscient, should be relatively easy to divine. Crunchy US Power Metal dominates the 14 tracks and you aren't going to be able to accuse this long-running act of selling out or softening their approach. A lot of the progressiveness of previous albums has been dialed back and tracks like "911" and "Chariots of the Gods" are straight-up riff fests. Vocalist Rick Mythiasin sounds as powerful as ever but, to my ears, his voice and vocal lines sound similar to Virgin Steele's David DeFeis giving the album a Black Light Bacchanalia-vibe to it. Some may thrill to hear that but to me, it's not good. Those self-same vocal lines sound goofy to me. When you combine that with tracks like "Oleander Duex," something that sounds like a metalized cover of The Byrds, "Call it Katahdin," a cross between Collective Soul and Bluegrass music, and a cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," I can't help but scratch my head. What's the point of covering something as iconic as "Bohemian Rhapsody"? Play it live but don't put it on your album.
I guess people who like Steel Prophet's earlier stuff will like Omniscient well enough and I would certainly expect anyone who enjoyed Black Light Bacchanalia to pick up what Steel Prophet is putting down. For me, the funky vocal lines, odd song-writing and ill-advised covers make this an album I'm not likely going back to any time soon.
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