Released By: Massacre Records
Release Date: September 27th, 2013
Genre: Heavy Metal
Roberto Dimitri Liapakis – Vocals
Markus Pohl – Guitar
Laki Ragazas – Guitar
Connie Andreszka – Bass
Tristan Maiwurm – Drums
2. Armies Of Hell
3. To Hell And Back
4. Kill The Beast
5. Hate Black
6. Children Of The Damned
7. 300 In Blood
8. Angels Of Fire
9. Warriors Of The Northern Seas
10. Set The World On Fire
11. Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne Cover)
One of the biggest complaints leveled toward European power metal bands is what some might call an excessive dedication to stylistic consistency in their chosen genre. AKA, the ever derided “every song sounds the same” syndrome. If you ask me though, many of these bands, made up of talented folk who toss in their 80’s NWOBHM and USPM influences into the nearest Ninja blender and set it to the highest possible speed, are endearing precisely because of this unwillingness to deviate too far from their idols. They just want to “keep the flame alive” for generations of metal to come, and that is quite an admirable goal in and of itself!
This being said, Germany’s MYSTIC PROPHECY have been rolling around since the early naughts, putting out a new record every two years or so to more and more acclaim. In particular, I quite enjoyed 2007’s Satanic Curses: the songs were just varied enough to make the album a cohesive listening experience whilst still making me headbang unconsciously late into the night.
Fast forward to 2013, and we have perhaps the best record these guys have done since the previously mentioned Satanic Curses, another great soundtrack to pillaging and setting your imaginary foes ablaze called KILLHAMMER. And yes, it’s a raging maelstrom of fun and fire for the whole family, with some meaty production and the dragon-culling voice of ROBERTO LIAPAKIS in about as top form as these guys have ever been.
And to be sure, there are some possible classic metal anthems here lurking about. ‘Armies Of Hell’ and ‘Kill The Beast’ are both top-grade thrashers, and yet it’s the mid-paced cuts that crush the most, such as the soaring ‘Hate Black’ with its titular call to arms, the surprisingly hooky synth-laden ‘Children Of The Damned’ and a tasty romp into PANTERA-land via ‘Warriors Of The Northern Seas’.
So while I have no idea where these guys will rank in anyone’s mind come Album Of The Year polling time, I can safely say that this has been a real pleasure to listen to, review and subsequently share with all of you! Metal has become an increasingly crowded musical universe as the decades have passed, but these guys have the potential to rank among the best of the best if albums this good start becoming the bar they set for future recordings. So congrats fellas: BIGGG thumbs up from my corner!
Written by Derek
Ratings Derek 9/10