Steel Prophet - Beware

10 songs
48:00 minutes
***** ***


When it comes to electing the true underdogs of the traditional metal scene, there is no way around Steel Prophet. They started in the late 80s, when the metal movement still showed idealism, but somehow they didn't really get started until the late 90s with Dark Hallucinations, which far from being a debut album, still was the album to heave them into the major metal league, if for a short time only. Meanwhile they had to look for a new label (which they found) and changed vocalists.

Listening to Beware wouldn't make you think that these guys went through such rough times. The opener Heavenly already shows the Prophets back like in olden times. It is certainly not their best albums, but especially the first half of the album convinces with epic heavy metal which is powerful, melodic and at times exceedingly fast. The first song to really grab me by the balls is Leatherette, a song that manages to sound like the most clichéd metal anthem, but still moving with a really catchy chorus. More disputed might be Political Greed (Petrol Man), not only one of the rare political moments in recent metal history (proving that not only punk and hardcore bands criticise the current American government), but also being the single most aggressive moment on this album, switching the melodic power metal elements for raw and brutal old school thrash. I truly love that song, although I heard from other people that they think it's rather horrible.

Beware is a cool comeback album, maybe not exceedingly great (a couple of songs sound too predictable), but compared to most bands that call themselves power metal these days, Steel Prophet are a truly powerful band that at their worst only plays good entertaining metal, but at their best they show that metal can still be alive and kicking.

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