Released: 2009, GMR Music
Prey are a Swedish four-piece that, to my ears, play a safe, non-committal blend of hard rock and power metal on their second album KNIGHTS OF THE REVOLUTION, sounding very much like a watered down version of Stratovarius.
They overly rely on the riffs and keyboard to carry the song, which is due in no small part to the relative weakness of their singer Thomas Nystrom. For a rock/power metal singer, his voice is very understated, and at times there is an almost Ville Laihiala/Sentenced, CRIMSON-era quality to his voice; nasal, melancholy, dark but not forceful enough for my liking. The Finnish vibe is quite apparent to me, like the aforementioned Stratovarius, Sentenced, Sonata Arctica, and even remnants of Nightwish appear here and there, giving quite a mixed bag of influences even though they’re geographically linked. ‘Dark’ is one word I’d use to describe them, ‘underwhelming’ would be another.
The riffs work well within the context of the song I guess, nothing too original or outstanding. That to me is the overriding problem with Prey. I can think of many bands they sort of sound like or remind me of: Stratovarius, Sentenced, Sonata Arctica, Grave Digger, bits of Bon Jovi, Europe, Whitesnake, Nightwish and Hammerfall, but they rarely blend these various influences into something that would make me sit up and take notice. I’m a fan of a fair few of these influences, and when I listen to KNIGHTS OF THE REVOLUTION, I find myself thinking ‘That sounds like Ville Laihiala-lite’ or ‘That riff could have been lifted from a Grave Digger B-side’ or ‘That keyboard bit, I swear Strato used it already.’
This album will probably not stand up to repeated listens. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong. It’s middling to solidly average, nothing more, nothing less. There may be a time in your life when you tire of searching for music or metal that constantly pushes the boundaries, when you want something safe and comforting. That would be Prey, but KNIGHTS OF THE REVOLUTION they are not. More like Knights of a Small Unarmed Uprising in Sunderland…