Review : MYSTIC PROPHECY – 'Ravenlord'

Mystic ProphecyRavenlord
Release: 2011Nov25 (EU) / 2012Jan31 (US)
Label: Massacre Records
Rating: 4/5

I have mentioned my lack of luck with LocoMotive Music before, but as stated, Mystic Prophecy was a diamond in the rough back in 2007 with the release of Satanic Curses. I slowly appreciated darker power metal more, and it’s the edge I look for these days. Now on their seventh album and with new drummer in tow, Ravenlord will make you “Hail!” for so many reasons. Glad they’re on Massacre now.

Honestly, if you’re a young German band, I almost feel bad for you. The consistency of veterans like Helloween, Grave Digger, and especially Accept set the bar dauntingly high. But when luminaries shine through, they’re obviously brighter than their brethren. After recently tackling a trifecta of “Iron”-flavored bands who have similar aim, I became keenly aware of the hits and misses—and Mystic Prophecy always promises deadly. They also never overstay their welcome: 37 minutes of original barnburners with a solid cover to finish.

Founding vocalist R.D. Liapakis is the sole consistent member since their 2000 inception, and commands not only the front lines, but behind-the-scenes production, too. Their honed attack combines the catchiest aspects of German power metal, mixed with shreds of Gothenburg thrash, and hints of added American flavors. “Cross of Lies”—and to a lesser extent, “Hollow” (Does anyone recognize that main riff? It sounds so familiar!)—have Wylde-ish wah-wah moments that echo even more strongly through their take on “Miracle Man”, which appeared on the first Ozzy Osbourne album to feature young Zakk:  No Rest for the Wicked. Hey, wanna know another connection to the Prince of Darkness? His present guitarist — Gus G. — co-founded Mystic Prophecy. Crossovers, yay!

I have few problems with Ravenlord. If anything bothers me, it’s the topical nature (or lack thereof) behind the Ozzy tune; while religious hypocrisy is an age-old topic, Jimmy Swaggart is so ’80s. I sometimes like those little updates in otherwise faithful covers, and in this case, maybe Grant Storms would be the better contemporary? Who is your “favorite” religious target these days? Eh, maybe leave that can of worms unopened for now and listen to Mystic Prophecy instead. I feel better about giving a Metal band my money any day.

FCC: 2

01. Ravenlord
02. Die Now
03. Eyes Of The Devil
04. Damned Tonight
05. Hollow
06. Wings Of Destiny
07. Endless Fire
08. Cross Of Lies
09. Reckoning Day
10. Miracle Man

~MetalMattLongo

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