Mystic Prophecy - _Regressus_
(Nuclear Blast, 2003)
by: Jackie Smit (6 out of 10)
Aaaah, power metal -- a sub genre as equally easy to poke fun at, as it is to enjoy in a popcorn-movie sort of way. Quite what made Mystic Prophecy special enough to capture the attention of the powers that be at Nuclear Blast is anyone's guess, but whichever way you look at it, the opening riff to "Eternal Flame" is killer and almost manages to silence the deafening laughter which is sure to accompany their many lyrical references to hell, demons, wizards, and "having no time for regrets". Elsewhere on the record, "Lords of Pain" unleashes an almost Nevermore-esque guitar cluster-bomb, before dissipating into a dire mess of predictability. Of course, "The Traveller" (the album's halfway mark) couldn't ever have been anything but the 'reflective' acoustic interlude, while the solo on "Forgotten Soul" proves, if anything, that Mystic Prophecy can at least play their instruments with greater flair than your average leather-clad gorilla. The haunting "Regressus - Lost in Time" meanwhile actually manages to transcend to some extent the trappings of their power metal prison. The point, however, is that their music is so unashamedly by-the-numbers that if your tastes veer even slightly toward the challenging, then _Regressus_ will have you nodding off after five minutes. They may appeal to fans of testosterone-addled, fist-in-the-air, (most importantly) overtly masculine metal, but there's simply not enough successful experimentation and innovation on offer here to give them an edgeways over the many other power metal acts vying for your hard-earned right now.

(article published 17/6/2003)

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