Steel Prophet - _Dark Hallucinations_
(Nuclear Blast, 1999)
by: Paul Schwarz (
As this album begins, the first thing that struck me about it was its impressively heavy production. The kickdrums are pounding and in fact the whole drum kit punches comfortably through the music throughout the album. The guitars are close to being as powerful but lag behind the drums a little. With these weapons of mass destruction at their disposal, Steel Prophet deliver _Dark Hallucinations_, an album which draws heavily from the melodic speed/thrash sounds of early Annihilator and, of necessity, has many of its roots planted in classic Judas Priest. The result is far from bad in terms of technical proficiency or even songwriting. However, the vocalist's style does not appeal to me or seem to fit the music brilliantly. When you take into account the fact that the lyrical concepts do not grab me (they seem to consist of a five song "concept" piece with significant influence from Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" and some rather pedestrian stuff dealing with alien encounter themes) and that the music is not spectacularly original, you have a record I really can't see myself putting on again. Fans of Iced Earth's last record may enjoy this, though, I feel.
(article published 5/19/1999)
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