Released: 2014, CODE 7 / PHD
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
If there's anything that sells in this world, it's nostalgia. People love to be reminded of what was great that came before; it's probably the only reason that tribute bands became a thing. What does it take then for a band to elevate itself above the mould of what has come before and cultivate its own legacy? Bands such as Iron Maiden are still thriving from the success they've created over the years and having heard Steel Prophet for the first time, they appear to have borrowed heavily from their stylistic forefathers. I had to ask myself if the torch needs to be passed on, or if it is best left to fade away when the heavyweights decide to throw in the towel.
I've read that the band regard July 2014's concept album release of 'Omniscient' as the one that will take them over the precipice into superstardom. This is indeed a journey that they have taken long strides to get towards and you get a real sense of the energy and enthusiasm they have built. This is rock and roll suited to the earth and soil and they want you to lap up every bit of it.
An adventure unfolds here with tales of perpetual conflict, dragging you through every savagely shredded moment across battle-scarred lands, space and time. It seems like no end of mythical beasts are exempt from the cleaver, and I'm pretty certain they even have a pop at Osama at one point. I'm not sure if they rallied the mighty Kirk Hammet to the cause, but I certainly stumbled upon a riff that is perhaps more reminiscent of the outro in Outlaw Torn than it should be... However, you can't help but feel caked in mud, waving a giant flag while being swept along at an unrelenting pace in this fight that they want you to be a part of as you curbstomp those demons straight back to hell.
But every army needs a general, and sadly one that sounds like a local county karaoke quarter-finalist doesn't do it for me. This style is going to draw obvious comparisons and unfortunately, vocally, it crumples under the weight of expectation. It seemed have an effect on the rest of the band as well as at one point on the album, they decide to hang up their spears and battleclogs for a brief respite and decided to write an Incubus record instead?! Imagine my horror then as they decide to cap off the album with a rendition of Bohemian Blasphemy... pardon me, Rhapsody. Send shivers down my spine? Too right they did, like a fat kid that's one cherry too close to the loin cloth. It's not even like I hold the original in particularly high regard but this band had seemed to take themselves seriously.
I think that the elusive star still casts a heavy shadow while legendary artists continue to perform and I'm not quite sure this offering is quite ready to step out into the limelight on its own just yet.