Steel Prophet - 'Beware' Massacre Records 2004
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Five out of Five Stars
Steel Prophet has rebounded powerfully from a lineup split which, while described as amicable, could have crippled the band.
With two new players, including a powerful and expressive new vocalist, and a refreshing update of their distinctive True Metal sound - by evoking powerfully the days of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal - Steel Prophet has come back to kick your ass and stuff it in the trash.
Don't worry, if you're not a nu-metal poseur, they'll just kick your ass and drag it along to their next killer live show. Check out their site for dates:
'Beware' also marks a label change: they've bailed from the problematic Nuclear Blast label and moved over to Massacre Records. I'm not a recording expert but I think the production values were raised with the label change.
The songwriting is still classic and passionate, dramatic. The big single off this album, 'Leatherette' is pure classic truemetal, and it has one of the most dramatic and timeless endings I've heard in a song since my personal favorite, Sabbath's 'Symptom of the Universe'. The guitars are sinister and biting. Better check your ass for missing chunks here. They're homicidal. They're aggressive but also have dramatic, brooding counterpoints. The songwriting is very complete in its conception, and the production realizes the songs perfectly. This band has brought some great anthems into our world from the Metallic Ether. The heart and soul of the performances is undeniable. This isn't just another heavy metal album, True or not.
It's a religion.
Here's hoping Massacre Records will put some money into helping these guys tour more extensively. This is an American band, folks, so be assured they'll be coming around to your neck of the woods, or at least the ballpark. They tour Europe too, so you folks over there look out.
There'a an anti-Bush song on here that's a smoker, too: 'Political Greed (Petrol Man). Let's make it the anthem it's supposed to be and make a point of sharing it with people. Perhaps it'll open some dense skulls... True Heavy Metal style.