SONIC PROPHECY - A DIVINE ACT OF WAR (Independent)
(Review by Patrick De Sloover)
Another newcomer, this time hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA! There aren’t that much American bands that are able to bring Power Metal ‘European style’, so I was really curious how they would manage on their debut album “A Divine Act Of War”. The lyrical themes of the band are war, quests and adventures and of course stories about Heaven and Hell. The fact that they like to write about war and brutal massacres is pretty new to us. Most Power Metal bands from our region prefer the unknown, the typical Heavy Metal Anthems, but Sonic Prophecy is more into manslaughter and debauchery.
The cover reminds me on the earlier cover artwork of Heavy Load. Remember albums like ‘Metal Conquest’, ‘Death Or Glory’ and ‘Stronger Than Evil’ with barbaric battlefields where Vikings and Normans are delivering a battle for good and glory. The album of Sonic Prophecy is called “A Divine Act Of War” and suits very well into the catalogue of Hammerblaze artwork. They seem to specialize into character and creature design. Check their homepage www.hammerblaze.com and you will notice earlier artwork for albums of Skiltron, Black Majesty, Paragon, Feanor, Domen and Blacksmith.
The album opens with the intro ‘In Nomine Victoria’ which brings us into the necessary mood. After a minute and a half, the first real track ‘Call Of Battle’ opens with a good rhythm and pace. The vocals of Shane are pretty original and fit really well to the musical direction of this band. At some moments he’s going really high, but he has a vocal range that supports all regions. Great job! Next thing that I want to mention are the guitar solos in the songs. Axe grinders Steve Bishop and Austin Dixon deliver in every track wonderful guitar craftsmanship. Some songs have twin guitar solos and those that know me personally know that I’m really into this way of shredding! I didn’t find a track that didn’t please me from the very first listening, and that’s really rare. After a few times spinning, I want to point out ‘Juggernaut’, ‘A Divine Act Of War’ and ‘Call To Battle’, as they are pretty aggressive as well, but for the same reason ask me next week what songs I prefer and probably, I will mention some other tracks. This album contains only pure metal, made by musicians that know exactly how a great track is written.
The playing time of this album is nearly 1 hour and time flies when you’re having fun. Not a moment of boredom, not a moment of tedium, as these guys know how to make an arrangement interesting and variety is highly regarded! The only thing that interfered is the font that is used in the booklet. It’s like old English Text mixed with Medieval calligraphy, and sometimes it’s hard to decipher. I understand that it will all be part of the lyrical themes and vibe that they want to create, but there are limits. All in all, a very pleasant surprise from a band that I welcome for the near future, and I wonder myself how comes that this band is still unsigned. Believe me we hear a lot of crap day by day, and a gem like Sonic Prophecy remains unsigned. I always knew that the world isn’t fair and logic…. Sonic Prophecy homepage: https://www.facebook.com/sonicprophecy
My rating: 84 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & classic ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 89: Decent but better to take a preview first
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard