Music Reviews

Steel Prophet

Book of the Damned

Nuclear Blast

[Suspend professionalism, exit “critic” mode.]

Sigh• Man, I’m just not all that excited about Book of the Damned despite, from an “objective” standpoint (schmeh), it arguably being Steel Prophet’s strongest album to date, their broadest palette yet, their most capably executed record so far. More or less, this less-than-blasé attitude started with last year’s Messiah • all told, a fine, fine album, but not exactly inciting the same rapture its predecessor, Dark Hallucinations, did. So, do the math, and color me unstoked. And while we’re at it, let’s get this much straight: Previous to Book of the Damned, Steel Prophet were not • and have never been • a “power metal” band. See, kids today think that just because a metal band has clean vocals, that band in question (e.g., Nevermore, Lefay) has to be a power metal one. Wrong, youngsters. While those same kids were in diapers in the ’80s, just about every speed metal band (Anthrax, Agent Steel, Heathen, Vicious Rumors, Liege Lord, among many, many others) had clean vox but didn’t gallop away all happy-happy/joy-joy like Helloween and other Euro fashion victims. However, a point could be made that Steel Prophet are now closer to power metal per se, what with the increasingly restrained riffing, Book of the Damned’s curiously warm guitar production, and what not. But whatever. Sigh•

[Enter “critic” mode again, cold exterior engaged.]

Nuclear Blast, 1453-A 14th St. #324, Santa Monica, CA 90404


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