It’s taken a year or so, but up and coming Greek Metal label Rock Of Angels finally get to wheel out their big guns with a new album by German Metal powerhouse Mystic Prophecy. Having already shone in Steel Prophet in 2019 (and pretty much transformed that band in the process!), this is vocalist Roberto Dimitri Liapakis’ time to re-showcase his main band. He is actually the only original member now and it is a band that, with a career spanning 10 albums over 20 years, has had many credible Metal musicians move through its ranks over those years, and the current members are emphatically keeping up that fine tradition.
Mystic Prophecy inhabit similar territory to those meaty German Metal bands who incorporate plenty of power as well as melody into their style – Primal Fear and Iron Savior to name a couple, but there are many to choose from. They are a band that can pack as much force into stomping, mid-tempo Metal behemoths like ‘Hail To The King’ or the title track, as they manage to cram into the quicker Power Metal anthems like ‘Curse Of The Slayer’ and ‘Eye To Eye’. Pounding, powerful rhythms and riff-laden guitars are the order of the day, all with Liapakis’ fabulous as-Metal-as-you-like vocals. At the same time however, there is always that underlying melody to hook you in and of course some ear-catching lead work to dazzle you with. There’s even an impressive slab of classic Thrashy Speed Metal in the guise of ‘Die With The Hammer’ this time around.
Mystic Prophecy aren’t trying to be anything different or new, they don’t need to be, they already have a strong fan base who enjoy a style that taps so easily into those from similar bands and manages to easily maintain their place towards the top end of their chosen genre. They have a familiarity about their sound (and I don’t just mean the intro to ‘Here Comes The Winter’ that seems to remind me unnervingly of Bon Jovi’s ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’…though it could be just me…), it’s a comforting, horn-flicking, head-banging kind of familiarity that you just know will win over like-minded audiences at gigs all over the world, as Mystic Prophecy have been doing for so many years now. Certainly one of their best releases to date, “Metal Division” shows once more that this fine Metal band know exactly what they are doing, and they do it well.
(8/10 Andy Barker)