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Mystic Prophecy - "War Brigade" (CD)

Mystic Prophecy - "War Brigade" CD cover image

"War Brigade" track listing:

1. Follow the Blind
2. Metal Brigade
3. Burning Out
4. The Crucifix
5. Pray for Hell
6. 10000 Miles
7. Good Day to Die
8. The Devil is Back
9. War Panzer
10. Fight for one Nation
11. War of Lies
12. Bonustrack*

Reviewed by on April 8, 2016

"With all the metal innuendos the band can muster, there really is nothing mystic about the prophecy here – 'We will pound your face with metal'!"

There cannot be enough admiration for albums that get right to the point – no dramatic intros or sleepy 7 minute lead in. If its metal, it’s a dish best served cold, hard and fast. Enter Mystic Prophecy, which has only one aim: how to metal up the metal so it’s more metal than any other metal they ever metaled. On “War Brigade,” they found a way. In fact, there is a string of tracks that represent the best power punch in the band’s history. Don’t believe it – listen. “War Brigade” is a crushing album, one not seen since the dark forces of “Satanic Curses” rang forth in 2007.

I’m not sure why vocalist RD Liapakis decided to form Devil’s Train – his hard rock alter ego. However, if I’m a betting man, I would think that stepping away from power metal to do something a bit different always renews the love, and vice versa. Each time he steps from one side to the other, each side seems to get better, beefier, heavier, louder, raunchier and by god, more metal! With all the metal innuendos the band can muster, there really is nothing mystic about the prophecy here – “We will pound your face with metal.”

With no need to wait, “Follow the Blind” bursts right out, setting that ultra-beefy riff tone that continues throughout the whole album. Mystic Prophecy’s ability to create massive riffs with undeniably catchy melodic may not be unique in modern day metal, but they sure do pull it off to a degree that few can. Those riffs are the backbone of this killer German metal band, representing some of the best I’ve heard in recent times. 2013’s “Killhammer” and 2011’s “Ravenlord” may have lacked a little creative luster, but “War Brigade” makes up for in sheer catchiness and melodious brutality. Mystic Prophecy has never had a problem with heaviness – just being distinctive from album to album.

However, as the title suggests….“War Brigade” never lets up in a relentless attack on the ears, save for the power ballad “10,000 Miles Away.” The title track continues the assault and “Burning Out” shows RD belting out his guttural growl amidst one of the album’s fastest numbers. “The Crucifix” is a candidate for catchiest tune on the album, but never in the history of Mystic Prophecy has there been a five song punch like “Good Day to Die,” “The Devil Is Back,” “War Panzer,” “Fight For One Nation” and “War of Lies.” The string of songs has breathtaking brutality that truly lives up to the “power” in power metal.

To the total relief of your author, Mystic Prophecy has finally broke through the stagnation streak and has re-risen to the top of the German metal heap. “War Brigade” is worthy of any fan of power metal and will stick in your minds for a long time to come. With carefully produced sound, there is an extra crunch to the songs, tons more weight to the pounding riffs and the song writing as catchy as any of the band’s best to come before. Be sure to pick up the edition with the cover of Tom Jones’ “Sex Bomb,” a track more akin to Devil’s Train but more hysterical done by Mystic Prophecy. Live, these tracks should cause necks to snap and blood to spill – the “War Brigade” is on!

Highs: The riffs are even heavier and the songwriting is ultra catchy.

Lows: Not a huge variation on the usual theme, so not much to garner a new fanbase.

Bottom line: Mystic Prophecy bursts back atop the German power metal heap with a total "War Brigade!"

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)