Mystic Prophecy - Ravenlord 4.5/5
2. Die now
3. Eyes of the devil
4. Damned tonight
6. Wings of destiny
7. Endless fire
8. Cross of lies
9. Reckoning day
10. Miracle man
One of the bigger power metal acts in Europe, Germany’s Mystic Prophecy have had a purple patch of great releases over the last 6 years, starting with 2006’s ‘Savage souls’. After the exceptional ‘Fireangel’, released in 2009, the furious power metalers have returned with their latest scorching offering, ‘Ravenlord’.
Mystic Prophecy and constant line-up changes have gone hand-in-hand since the band’s inception and with this new CD comes yet another new member to the band. Drummer Stefan Dittrich, who had only been with Mystic Prophecy since 2008, decided to move on shortly after ‘Fireangel’ to join Arrayan Path, and has been replaced by Claudio Sisto (ex-Firereign, ex-Necroid). Bassist, Connor Andreszka and guitarist Constantine have now been in the band for about 3-4 years and a CD under their belts coming into the new CD, and would by now have settled nicely into the band, led by the unmistakable vocals of R.D. Liapakis, the only remaining original member of the band.
Over the past few releases, Mystic Prophecy have really turned up the heat with their music, moving from a melodic power metal sound to a ferocious thrash-esk heavy power metal sound, that has certainly made their popularity rise as of late. Speedy kick-ass tracks, hard and fast riffs galore and double-bass pummelling (not to mention the killing solos) awaits you once again on the new CD. Upon first listening to the CD, it seems (if possible), that the band sounds even heavier, with R.D.’s vocals gruffer and raspier than ever, and a dark presence and feel throughout the CD.
Oddly enough, the opening track to kick off the CD (also being the title track, “Ravenlord”) is just a mid-paced grinding song, whereas the band usually starts each CD off with a ball-busting fast track. Nevertheless, “Ravenlord” is quite catchy and has a great melody and structure; while also the bass guitar is clearly audible and heavy to boot. It’s not until the 2nd track “Die now” where the band tears up the volume and the ferocity, with “Die now” a brutal and blistering heavy and thrashy track, one of the best on the CD and it will get your head banging savagely.
“Eyes of the devil” sound-wise is a throwback to Mystic Prophecy’s more catchy melodic power metal days, with a modern touch, and it features more excellent guitaring and a sweet solo as well. The speedy frenzied riffs break out again in the brilliant track “Cross of lies”, with one hell of an awesome sing-a-long heavy chorus that would go ballistic when played live to hundreds of metalheads. “Hollow” is another mid-paced melodic heavy track, that has a catchy chorus and a groove metal feel throughout, but is also typically Mystic Prophecy right down the line.
The remainder of the CD is very much consistent right through to the final track, including the hard-hitting “Endless fire” and the speedy yet melodic double-bass pounding “Damned tonight”, that contains yet another kick-ass solo that will light your air guitars ablaze. There is also a cover track at the end, “Miracle man”, which was originally done by Ozzy Osbourne. The limited edition digipak contains a bonus track called “Back with the storm”, and is very good as far as bonus tracks go, being another quick and riff-filled blasting track that I wonder why it was left out from the main CD and included as a bonus track. I think we were stiffed with the bonus material this time round with ‘Ravenlord’, after the limited digipak for ‘Fireangel’ contained a 2nd CD featuring 6 bonus tracks and 7 live tracks. Oh well, what can you do?
In the end, ‘Ravenlord’ is yet another fantastic CD from Mystic Prophecy, their purple patch lives on and they continue to boldly and confidently hold high the blazing torch of European power metal. They certainly have improved considerably with each release, more so since they changed their sound to a gruffer harder edged style back in 2006. For those who have loved Mystic Prophecy’s material from ‘Savage souls’ onwards will be hunting this one down while salivating at the mouth. Buy or die now!
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