Friday, 18 December 2015

Risen Prophecy - Into the Valley of Hinnom (2015) / 81%

The prophecy that will bring balance to metal?

...well, maybe not but it's not still super cool metal!

These Brits sure like their metal American and it's certainly a good thing. Their second full length was a late 2015 surprise for me, I wasn't expecting much as I thought the cover art was a bit silly (done by Jowita Kamińska, co-head of their label Metal on Metal) but this freaking rocks. Composed of four songs ranging from 6 to 11 minutes and 2 short instrumentals acting as an introduction and a conclusion, this album is a strong piece of superbly crafted epic metal with thunderous riffs and quality vocals.

I'd say the biggest influences are Iced Earth's early material mixed with an healthy dose of Manowar, Testament or also some german speed steel. It's high octane metal with blistering blastbeats, technically apt and old school soloing (“To the Wolves” has a cool one) and a varied and talented lead singer who intertwines between deep manly vocals and high pitched Kingdiamondesque ones. Dan Tyrens is a well rounded singer with a lot of range and he's much better at the violent thrashy groove vocals than Russell Allen (please stop, dude). There's also some well placed gang shouts to emphasize certain lines from these biblical and mythological lyrics.

The riffing of Ross Oliver (the sole guitarist in the band) ranges from super heavy and Jon Schaffer only wish he had his skills. The production is mighty and helps the music a lot, the two most epic tracks (“Brood of Vipers” and the title track) keeps a well balanced sound between the atmospheric epic sound with some subtle symphonic arrangements and heavy riffage throughout the whole songs. There's no moments wasted and the 4 tracks are all excellent, no filler, all killer like it should be. The 35 minutes album isn't too short though, I feel it's an appropriate duration for an hybrid genre like theirs as some of their influences kept unleashing overlong albums that were repetitive and in the end, dull.

Risen Prophecy is a band that doesn't mess around and delivers extremely well written thrashy power metal with a distinctive feel combining many classical influences that most metalheads can enjoy. It's epic, fun, well composed, not much more to ask for this sort of traditional metal.

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