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I know this band is called The Prophecy, but that's basically exactly the same shit as one called Prophecy, so it's getting included. And what a change, from good times Texan death-metal to super serious British, er, stuff.
Yes, stuff is not the most descriptive genre label ever, but it's certainly a whole lot better than "death/doom", which implies some death, and for that matter, some doom in the sound of The Prophecy. Just because something has some double kick and the occasional (rare is perhaps a better descriptor) growl does not make it death metal; just like having a slow part once in a while does not make something doom metal.
Certainly, Salvation does have a bit of a hard sound to categorize, but that doesn't mean it's creative or worthy of praise. There's a lot of stuff that falls back to bad Machine Head-esque, guitar-as-percussion stuff (nothing all that different from what you'd hear on something like Evanescence or perhaps a "heavy NIghtwish moment"), a bit of chunky-ish palm muted sections that's a bit higher on the fretboard, all up I guess it's some sort of hybrid of Trivium, In Flames and maybe Lamb of God for the real "heavy" sections. I generally use the term "revolver metal" for it; effectively, get a riffing pattern that people who read/write Revolver magazine will love (you may substitute this for Kerrang! or Metal Hammer if you want) and you're pretty much there. So rather shitty, if you didn't obviously get that.
Perhaps the best way to describe this album then, is "prog-revolver metal", as the band spend long times building up to their half assed heavy moments. The song structures throughout are pretty familiar, following a pretty straight ahead quiet-loud formula; a build up that's reminiscent of post-good music Anathema or Katatonia before "exploding" into "big riffs". Certainly, the songs flow logically, and the sparse, wrapped-in-strings sections are tastefully done, albeit nothing that's all that cathartic or feels-giving. At the end of the day they just don't suffice in resurrecting the well moribund songs. Every song passes you by as the one before- a quiet intro with some rather average vocal lines, a heavy part with some incredibly generic riffs, followed up with some more bad vocals (sung or growled!) over more generic riffs.
Everything here is profoundly mundane, remarkably unremarkable, exceptionally mediocre, etc. Sounding competent but achieving precisely zero musical effect- not a good thing. The Prophecy are clearly good musicians who have not found their muse yet at all, it seems. Avoid like the particularly well-produced plague that it is.
UK doom/death metal squad The Prophecy this year releases their fourth full length album, Salvation, under Code666 Records, a label that has caught my attention in recent times with the unique bands and their relevant release and this has left me with rather high expectations as well for Salvation.
Before anyone gets too excited, it would be good to clarify first that the death metal elements on Salvation are not really all that heavy, and often takes a back seat compared to the excellent doom metal that is on the album. But the music here is rather atmospheric and soothing, with the sound of calming wind and waves greeting the listener on opening title track Salvation. The opening notes on the clean guitar, along with the strings brings in a sense of melancholy amidst the calmness, setting down the mood and emotion for the rest of the album to come. And as the song progresses there are some slight similarities to the prog rock material of Opeth, especially as vocalist Matt starts singing, with the way he sings being rather reminiscent to Mikael Akerfeldt like the way he chooses to drag out certain words and his vocal progression, though the music here is certainly more doom-paced and slower compared to the aforementioned.
Each of the musicians here are equally capable on their instruments, and throughout the album they get to display their versatility. The songs at times even bring in some progressive influences, with the odd time signatures that the band plays at, yet are able to maintain coherence with each other. The death metal segments, rather than taking a brutal style that one may expect, is here instead to complement the at times dark atmosphere in the music. And it is here where Matt displays his abilities both as a clean vocalist and a growler, along with the heavy riffs of Greg. Drummer John also shins throughout the album, being able to quickly shift from calm, simple beats to aggressive, heavy pounding on his kit. In fact, the fusion of death metal and doom metal on Salvation brings to mind atmospheric doom bands like The Fall of Every Season.
For the most part of the album though, it is a soothing and rather refreshing journey with clean singing, clean guitars, melodic, soaring solos and a comfortable, relaxing pace, and is good as an album to chill out to after a tough day with an atmosphere sufficiently dark and with that tinge of aggression that has been infused in the band’s music with their death metal elements.