Pure American steel hasn't sounded this good in a while...
Utah natives Sonic Prophecy are back with a third album, Savage Gods – and what a superb piece of work it is too…
The title track which opens the album may well have a hand in creating a new subgenre of metal – Sonic Prophecy could well end up being hailed as the godfathers of POWER DOOM if this is anything to go by – but after this the band settle down to purvey a sturdy set full of classic-sounding US power metal that won’t fail to get heads banging across the globe.
Night Terror sounds like a superb mashup of Nevermore and Vicious Rumors, with vocalist Shane Provstgaard giving a hair-raising performance that really does bring to mind the late, lamented Warrel Dane; Man the Guns is similarly exciting, a riffy anthem propelled by some superb bass playing from Ron Zemanek and featuring oodles of high-precision harmony from twin axeponents Darrin Goodman and Sebastian Martin.
You’d think with all the metal we get to digest at Sentinel Daily we’d be tired of hearing music as essentially straightforward as that created by Sonic Prophecy, but honestly when the metal is this good nothing could be further from the truth. Savage Gods is genuinely exciting to listen to, whether the themes visited are well worn or lightly trod; Semi-ballad Walk Through the Fire, for instance, is the sort of slow-burning epic that’s been done a million times before and yet… the sheer joy of the playing, the obvious commitment to the cause of all involved and the metallic grandeur of the song all combine to make it seven minutes of glorious sonic nirvana that you’ll want to go back to again and again. The harmony playing that leads into the final section of the song is just classic metal in excelsis, as are Matt LeFevre’s double kick drum fusilades and the final, fists-in-the-air denouement could teach Manowar a thing or two about dynamics and pacing.
Talking of Manowar, the Norse-themed A Prayer Before Battle mixes Joey DeMaio and company with a hint of Quarthon to good effect, whilst the eminently suitably-named Iron Clad Heart brings a bit of mid-eighties Teutonic speed to the party in the opening verse before morphing into another power metal rager.
Penultimate track Man and Machine brings back some of the doomy mood of the opening track, with LeFevre giving the kit a fine old Bill Ward-style workout, whilst closing track Chasing the Horizon brings the curtain down in suitably grandiose and very metal fashion, with all five members bringing their A-game to leave the listener panting for more. This is the stuff, and Sonic Prophecy have certainly set the bar high for all other power metal bands in 2018!
Sonic Prophecy will release Savage Gods through Rockshots Records on January 19th. Make sure you grab a copy!