Released: 2001, AFM Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The new Power Metal kings from... - SUPRISE! - SUPRISE!! - SWE-DEEENN...!!, Nostradameus, have a new album out called THE PROPHET OF EVIL that surely is going to make a great impression amongst all sworn Power Metal lovers in the whole world. I just cannot see any reasons for that why it wouldn't happen so. Many facts speak for that matter indeed already. First off, there´s five highly talented musicians in the line-up of Nostradameus; Freddy Persson on vocals, Jake Fredén and Michael Aberg on guitars, Thomas Antonsson on bass and last but not least, Jesse Lindskog behind the drum kit. I bet these guys must have known each other longer than since they formed the band in 1998 ´coz they match together so immensively well as musicians - like knowing exactly what the other fellow musicians expect from each other in the band and nothing less.
The album starts off with an intro, THE PROPHET OF EVIL which is soon followed by "Hymn to These Lands2 - and for my big surprise, it sounds very much like they would have borrowed the amin tiff off Finland deathsters, Eternal Tears of Sorrow´s song titled, "Shattered Souls" on their latest CHAOTIC BEUATY album. You´ll notice the similarity right away when you compare these two songs to each other. It also may be a pure co-incidence even if I personally doubt it very heavily.
"Evil Prophecies" follows next with a ´maiden-ish´ guitar lines that have been spiced with rather bombastic choir parts whereas "Murder", the 3rd real song on the album, obeys a formula of a more traditional Heavy Metal song with some really catchy guitar riffs and rhythms. That´s one of my favorite songs off "The Prophet of Evil", too - the band´s singer Fred pushing himself towards the point where even he may be amazed by some of his incredible vocal patterns.
Next up is a ballad called "Requiem (I Will Honour Thy Name)" that could have been left off from this album in my opinion ´coz I have NEVER been fond of any that kind of an overly emotional ´sweet´n´candies´ -shit ´coz bands like Europe and Bon Jovi, f.ex. always tend to creep into my mind and I´m fuckin´ getting cold shivers just by hearing their names already, -GRRRR!!
Both "In Prison" and "The Escape" follow the good, foolproof formula of a classic Power Metal song - having lots of catchy melodies, well-executed hooks and just almost everything you may expect from an ambitious and skilled Power Metal. It´s all there what you´re looking for really if you happen to be a fan of a melodic metal ála Helloween and Iron Maiden ´coz those bands have strongly been an undeniable influence for Nostradameus, for sure. You can hear their influence everywhere on the album and there´s nothing wrong with that as those bands have been playing a big role in my life as far as my likings for some metal bands are concerned.
As for some technical credits, the album has been recorded at Gain Studio in Gothenburg, Sweden, by Magnus Lundbäck and mixed at Finnvox Studio, Helsinki, Finland by Mikko Karmila, so don´t expect anything less than a top-notch sound on THE PROPHET...
Along with Steel Attack, Nostradameus have also proved to be one of the most promising newcomers from Sweden (editor´s note: Along with the GODS Lost Horizon!!) for a melodic Power Metal genre that would well be allowed to reach the very top of the wave of success if they could still keep on challeging themselves both as musicians and as a band with their forth-coming efforts as well. They are already close enough a breakthrough, so...