Prowlers (The) - Devil's bridge 4/5
1. Alone in the dark
3. The invisible prison
4. A last gaze
6. Acid one
7. Imagination game
8. Devil's bridge - Prelude
9. Devil's bridge - Part 1
10. Devil's bridge - Part 2
2006 has brought us one excellent release after another and many of them seem to be falling right into my hands. This is the case with The Prowlers' sophomore effort, 'Devil's bridge'. Although this Italian band is fairly unknown, I am one of the metal fans who purchased their debut 'Souls thieves' a few years back and was excited to learn this 2nd CD was being released soon. For those who are unfamiliar with the band's debut 'Souls theives', it's a solid slab of pure power metal very much in the style of Cryonic Temple and it's a CD that is surely recommended to fans of that band.
With 'Devil's bridge', the band has gone in more of a progressive direction, but power metal fans fear not, as the band's base style is still power metal full of speed and those who fear the "progressive" label should not be scared away. In fact, I'm hesitant to even lump the band in the progressive power metal genre, and would instead call them power metal with progressive elements. So does this slightly new direction become an improvement? Yes, as not only do we still get quick power metal riffs and double-bass drumming, but the progressive parts create a more interesting listen and make it easier to distinguish each song. The CD is quite heavy too, with pounding guitar work and hard-hitting drums, reminding me of Moonlight Agony many times throughout.
But not only has The Prowlers' music style improved over their straightforward debut 'Souls theives', but the songwriting has improved as well. While I recall only one exceptional highlight on 'Souls theives' ("The voice"), 'Devil's bridge' is chuck-full of awesome songs! The ones that stand above the rest though would have to be track 2 "YTT", especially track 3 "The invisible prison" with its driving guitar rhythm and the similar track 7 "Imagination game". I also like track 6 "Acid one", which is an instrumental full of outstanding guitar work. The 3-part ending 'Devil's bridge' finishes the CD strong and no complaints can be made of vocalist Fabio Minchillo either, who can be a bit throaty at times and sing in a higher range as well (after all, he is Italian).
As far as the overall quality of 'Devil's bridge', I've found it to be dead even with 2 other CDs that I've been listening to a lot the last few months. Those being the Bloodbound debut 'Nosferatu' and Sencirow's debut 'Perception of fear'. All 3 easily grab the 4/5 rating and maybe even step over that line a little. It amazes me how awesome a lot of new bands are, just as well established bands are finding ways to get better. Power metal is killing right now!
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