Prophesia - Eye of the storm 3.5/5
2. Into the eye of the storm
6. Disaster in the gray world
7. Living for the night
10. Take a chance on love
Regular visitors to this site may have noticed that I've recently opened my arms to Japanese power metal. I've investigated a lot of Japanese bands over the last year or so and have made a lot of CD purchases, despite the fact that they're more expensive than what I usually pay for CDs. It might be surprising that I've also opened my arms to Japanese-language bands, as it's only been the Russian langauge that I've accepted in the past. Simply put, some of the best guitarists in the world come from Japan, and while I think they're one of the countries that usually contains weak vocalists (as far as power metal, at least from my personal experience), overall I've been very happy with what I've heard from Japan.
One new Japanese band I've discovered is Prophesia, a melodic power metal band that was created by Akira Ishihara, the vocalist of Azrael, another Japanese power metal band that currently has 3 CDs and to my knowledge they're still active. While most of the Japanese bands that I've come across lately sing in their native tongue, Prophesia's debut 'Eye of the storm' is sung in English, though I should mention that Akira's accent is quite present and his voice is extremely high-pitched on occasion, so if you're picky as far as vocalists, you might not like his performance.
While there are plenty of fast-paced songs on this CD, it also offers up some mid-paced/bouncy songs and the band definitely has a pure melodic/heavy metal influence. Actually, there are even some passages (though very little) into progressive, AOR and hard rock realms. Their power metal side definitely dominates, but I do welcome these other elements, as they bring in some variety. There are a lot of keys, but that's to be expected these days.
The one thing I was expecting a bit more of from 'Eye of the storm' is the amount of neo-classical flurries, and while there are a fair amount of those moments, I wouldn't call Prophesia a neo-classical power metal band, a la Concerto Moon. I still think Concerto Moon is a good comparison though, and while we're at it, throw Seven Seas, Double Dealer, Knights of Round, Ark Storm, Shiranui, X Japan and Black Masquerade into the pile. Galneryus is somewhat comparable, but they're much more aggressive than Prophesia.
As a whole, 'Eye of the storm' is a debut with songs that all hover around a very good or great level. I enjoy this CD, but the truth is, I can only recommend it to lovers of the Japanese power metal scene. The rest of you surely have enough power metal surrounding you, so it's fine to pass by this and head back to your comfort zones.
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