Released: 2001, AFM Records
Ah. Summer vacation. Time to relax. No worries about getting up and going to work, the pain in the arse boss, the pushy customers and the overall stressful atmosphere. Not that I don’t have work to do. I figured that I would get lots of CD reviews done. Well that didn’t turn out the way I planned it. Here I am with vacation almost over and reviews due in a week and I only have one other written. Well damn it I have to write this one. It won’t be hard. This is one of the best CDs that has come across my desk in the last few months. Nostradameus, yet another Swedish group, are straight ahead melodic powermetal. THE PROPHET OF EVIL is their second CD with their debut WORDS OF NOSTRADAMEUS releasesd less than a year ago. The lineup for this CD is Freddy Persson: lead vocals, Jake Freden: guitar, Michael Aberg: guitar, Tomas Antonsson: bass and Jesse Lindskog. The only 2 members remaining from the debut CD are Persson and Freden. Persson handled bass duties on the last Cd as well as vocals so the new members are Lindskog and Aberg. They had to be recruited as previous members Erik Sööderman, Guitars and Gustav Nahlin: drums, felt that Nostradameus was taking up too much of their time and wanted to concentrate on their main band "Vapid".
First I have to point out that each song is broken down into characters. The Narrator, The Prince, the Captain and Hister: The Prophet of Evil. The story of the CD revolves around the fight between good and evil. The Prince must fight the evil Hister: Prophet of Evil to save his kingdom. Even though this is a concept CD of sorts the songs need not be listened to in sequence. They all stand on their own. Good thing too cause nowhere in the liner notes are the characters even described. The CD opens with a narrated intro titles "The Prophet of Evil" which in a few short sentences lays out that the story revolves around the battle of good vs. evil. "Hymn to These Lands" kicks off right away with some great powermetal which sets the tone for the whole CD. "Evil Prophecies" is a great galloping track that is just great speed metal. "Murder" has beciome one of my favourite songs on the disc as it has a chorus that just gets stuck in your head. Not unlike Edguy in many respects. Great songs with great sing along chorus."Requiem (I Will Honour Thy Name)" slows things down. Basically a piano ballad the character of The Prince speaks to his dead father The King telling him how great a man he was and that he hopes he can be as good man and that he will avenge his death at the hands of the Evil Prophet. "Gathering Resistance" is reminiscent of Gamma Ray and for that reason alone is slightly different than most of the other songs on the CD. The Cd closes with a limited edition bonus track. It is a cover of the classic Europe song "Scream of Anger" from classic 1984 CD WINGS OF TOMORROW. Anyone who thinks that Europe’s greatest moment was "The Final Countdown" should check out their earlier works. Nostradameus gives the song a more modern powermetal sound but stick pretty close to the original. Persson’s vocals are a little rougher than Joey Tempest but for me this song fits perfectly with the Nostradameus sound.
The more I listened to this CD the more I got wrapped up in the story. The Good vs. Evil concept is very interesting and not overly complicated. No background needs to be given into the characters. Its all laid out in the songs. There is not much else I can say about this great CD other than fans of powermetal will love it. Check out more about the band at http://www.nostradameus.com