|Review: Mystic Prophecy - War Brigade|
Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2016
Review online: March 24, 2016
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Rated 3.54/5 (70.77%) (13 Votes)
Relying on the same thrashy Power Metal with ripped vocals, heavy riffs and passable songwriting, these Germans go at it again and celebrate their sweet 16th birthday with the release of their ninth album, War Brigade. Unsurprisingly, this new effort features basically the same melodies seen in albums such as Savage Souls, Ravenlord and Killhammer; overly melodic passages mixed with heavier (sometimes aggressive) moments.
The album begins with "Follow the Blind" (not nearly as good as the song you're thinking of), a mid-tempo tune with a catchy chorus and a less raw vocal presentation by frontman Roberto Dimitri Liapakis. "Metal Brigade" lifts the spirits a bit, with its (already dated) lyric paying homage to the heavy metal greats and a cool guitar intro, with decent riffing throughout the course of the song. From that point on, the album dives into a sea of uninspired execution and predictable songwriting. True, there are quality moments such as "Good Day to Die", "Fight For One Nation" and "War of Lies", three songs that are mainly Power Metal with a little bit of angriness in their choruses and a heavier drapery on top, making for fun, if not good, passages, but these are exceptions to the rule. "Burning Out", "The Crucifix" and the title-track all show great promise, only to come off as bland and overly commercial. I can't help but think that this is Liapakis' fault, because the riffs are pounding, the rhythm section is rumbling and the drumming is aggressive. The vocals range from very decent to downright ludicrous lines that should belong far from the Power/Thrash metal department – and as far away from the scene as possible, for that matter – maybe with Avenged Sevenfold or some other faggot shitty-ass band that doesn't have anything to do with the Heavy Metal genre. After the third or fourth song, this becomes really annoying and actually offensive to a headbanger's ear. To close the album, the band covered Tom Jones' "Sex Bomb", which doesn't help their cause at all and feels somewhat preposterous, if not entirely comical.
If you have been following Mystic Prophecy since its inception, you will find some sort of safe harbor with War Brigade, as it features all the elements that we've seen in past efforts. If you're only waiting for an alternative on the typical Power Metal album but don't have any kind of emotional attachment to these Germans though, I would suggest you wait for Paragon's upcoming album, Hell Beyond Hell. All in all, it's a mediocre output with a few standout tracks that will quickly be forgotten, especially in a year stacked with promising and long-awaited albums.
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Interview with vocalist RD Liapakis on March 18, 2012 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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