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Mystic Prophecy has unquestionably exercised an authoritative stance in making the heaviest power metal imaginable since “Vengeance” sprouted in 2001. I mean releases early on in their career let you glide on rainbows while little demons attempted poking your feet, but not one similar instance is present on “Savage Souls.” Why, you quietly wonder? Well, magic has a not-so-fun tendency to slowly lose power when spell repetition comes into play, and what Mystic Prophecy attempted here displays them dragging on and on with music that has predictable junk written all over it. As its forefathers flaunted, “Savage Souls” is still a thunderstorm-summoning faction that shoots bolts of heaviness from beginning to end, but punching out the usual routine only makes this album a lackluster addition to a great discography.
This record’s finest blessing is also its fatal curse: Mystic Prophecy’s intense power/thrash modus operandi. What was once a well-crafted configuration of zealous unconventionality has endured a zillion rotations without proper upgrades during usage; these fabrics now pour out jejune fumes while expected tones ring on the foundation. Time after time and song after song, Mystic Prophecy depends on generic speed riffs and fast percussion patterns to lift them up, but running on this broken automobile leaves them stranded on vanilla-covered pastures that were once thriving with stellar originality. “Into The Fire,” however, reverts on a softer note, which should be rather refreshing in its setting of sameness, yet the anthem seems too uninspired for pleasing emotions to exist. Not my cup of tea, honestly.
Digesting that sour apple can be a little discomforting on your tender eardrums, yet there are some nice perks working to correct any irritations in sight. Acting as a spoonful of Pepto-Bismol, RD Liapakis once again summons his tremendous voice to fly above and around whatever problematic situation flies his way; you can always count on amazing vocals regardless of the musical condition or lack thereof. Also flexing those enjoyment muscles is great soloing on occasion; however, two microscopic repairs cannot fix an entire album as there is so much more in average territory than anything else. I’m sorry, but placing “Savage Souls” beside “Vengeance” or “Never Ending” feels like a prostate exam from Edward Scissorhands; it’s simply way too weak and inconsistent when stacked among Mystic Prophecy’s other magical efforts.
To summarize, Mystic Prophecy’s fourth full-length expedition artlessly lacks fundamental attributes our Germans buddies acquired primordially, and the result of such a mediocre product after several high-quality items looks extremely dull in comparison to what came before this dopey slump. Grasping onto “Savage Souls” wholly, there are some very worthwhile instances situated at its alpha stages, yet the whole enchilada passively declines into nonexclusive theorems and predictable anatomies on a track-by-track spine, and that’s obviously not enjoyable for anyone to experience. If you’re pondering about grabbing this one, I propose sticking to the full-length trinity that emerged before “Savage Souls,” and then determine whether or not such a grand plummet should rest alongside your other CDs.
This review was written for: www.leviatan-magazine.com
I think I approach reviewing this album in the same way as Firewind's Forged By Fire. The reason I give this album a higher rating than people may think it's worth is that I tend to look at albums in the context of my entire music collection, rather than by themselves. In short, I don't always expect an album to be massively original or to do something a bit different. Mystic Prophecy's Savage Souls is an excellent example of an album that is straight up heavy without breaking any new ground. Awesomeness without originality.
One thing that does strike me instantly upon listening to the opening track is a definite "We don't need Gus G" feeling - the intro alone shows the bands strength without him. Lia's vocal performance probably won't blow you away, but is a good counterpoint to the high concentration of wailers in the power metal scene.
Complaints - only one really; the last track. Wtf. I really like the song Into The Fire, and when I heard it fade out and saw there were 9 minutes left, I prepared myself for hidden track bliss (a la "Heed The Call"). Instead I wait almost the full 9 minutes, and then there's some totally gay shit about a sword. Then something in a different language which must be some sorta joke. Seriously though. Disappointment.
Aside from the disappointing ending what you have here is a rock solid slab of aggressive and melodic power metal from the Mystic Prophecy boys. If you're looking for something challenging and edgy, look elsewhere. If you just want generic fist pumping horn throwage and catchy, memorable metal then look no further.
So, Mystic Prophecy are back with a new album and a new line-up, but there’s not much difference on this CD compared with their other albums. Mystic Prophecy has – in my opinion – always struggled with the fact that their albums sound far too repetitive, but still been a fairly good band which spits out cool riffs and music in general. But even though, whether what it is, melodies, choruses, lyrics, riffs, after been listening to a whole album you realise how much all songs sounds the same. And like I said, it’s the same procedure with “Savage Souls”.
The album has fast ripping songs like “Shadows Beyond My Soul”, “Evil Empires”, “Best Days Of My Life”, and a lot of mid-tempo, little bit slower tracks in the rest of the songs, and one ballad, “Into The Fire”. The “mid-tempo” songs is the songs that sounds most alike. Listen to the songs 6-9 in a row, and you get a “aha!” feeling over every of those song’s verse. In those 4 songs the verses almost sound like direct copies of themselves. And if they necessarily have to have 4 songs that sounds so much like each other, why the hell putt hem after each other ? Well, I guess nobody knows. But still, these songs are a bit cool, but nothing you would really say “HURRAY !” for. And the repetition is a big problem. The two weakest songs on the album is “In The Darkness” and the really boring ballad “Into The Fire”. The first one being just a song that feels you’ve heard million times before, and the ballad. Bah, if you don’t have the capacity to make a ballad then don’t fucking do a ballad. Simple.
But the album has some really good songs too. “Evil Empires”, and the titletrack “Savage Souls”, probably the only two diverse songs. The first one being a really aggressive creation, with speedy verses, cool pre-chorus and a awesome chorus, with thrashy music to it. You can’t resist to only scream along “EVIL EMPIRES, HEY !”. Awesome song. And the titletrack is a heavy stomping song. Starting with bassdriven verses and then the guitars break in and we get a very melodic chorus, but still a great one.
So, a conclusion of this can be said in that Mystic Prophecy are a pretty good band, and can create some great heavy metal tunes, but needs to make more diverse songs that doesn’t just sound like each other and maybe something more original stuff, feels like you’ve heard many of the songs before. And maybe you remembered that I mentioned that they’re repetitive in lyrics as well as music ? Yes, it feels like the same topics are being sung. If it’s not about nightmares, it’s about sins, shadows, death, the soul of anyone ??. It’s only “Best Days Of My Life” that maybe has a little bit of unusal lyrics (for being Mystic Prophecy). Maybe LIA (vocalist) should use some other topics to next album, or maybe I’m just a little bit too finicky for complaining about lyrics. Who knows. Another thing is that Gus G’s guitarsolos is very missed and also Dennis Ekdahls heavy drumming. Despite all similiar sounding songs, “Savage Souls” still reaches the level “pretty good", not bad, but not great either. But if you should get yourself a MP-album, go get “Never-Ending” or “Regressus”, heavier and maybe not as much repetitions.
Best tracks: Evil Empires, Savage Souls, Sins & Sorrows