Released: 2007, No Face Records
Reviewer: Simon Lukic
Of all the styles that exist within the Heavy Metal genre, Doom Metal is arguably the least commercial - especially where records sales and major press is concerned. There have certainly been a number of exceptions such as, Trouble, Candlemass, My Dying Bride, Anathema, Katatonia, Paradise Lost or Solitude Aeturnus but for the most part, it’s an underground phenomenon where artists are held in high regard and championed for their tenacity. The Prophecy – based in Northern England (bonus points for their country of origin) and who formed in 2001, already exude a number of the characteristics of the above acts especially when their second album REVELATIONS is taken into consideration.
Forgoing the traditional Doom of St Vitus or the dirge like styling’s of Winter – The Prophecy opt for a Doom Death approach that is more inline with the My Dying Bride’s of the world. The music itself covers enormous ground - as it should with a running time of over an hour, with rich arrangements and an instrumental approach that is lush and satisfying. “Odyssey”, “Willow’s Hope“and the absolutely amazing “Rivers” make for early highlights and display the talent on show. Unlike most bands of their ilk, The Prophecy experiment with tempo and the dynamics add colour to what is already a very full sound. Like their Doomination II tour mates, The Eternal or what Novembers Doom have created with THE NOVELLA RESERVOIR, this will give The Prophecy scope to move freely within their style without any self imposed limitations. With new influences such as Fates Warning and the legendary Psychcotic Waltz creeping into the mix I can only hazard a guess as to what the future may bring.
This review wouldn’t be complete if I failed to mention the performance of vocalist Matt Lawson. His ability to alternate between clean and guttural vocals is amazing and there where times when I found it hard to believe that that it wasn’t two vocalists at work. What adds to Matt's effort is the way his vocals have been mixed – up front and to the fore, which gives his voice room to breathe and makes for a very intimate and personal delivery. While this approach is common place nowadays, it’s fantastic to hear it done correctly and there are many would be (and established) vocalists who could learn a thing a two from Matt, I’m certain of it.
Doom Metal is basically not for those wanting a quick fix. The musicians who play such a style are certainly in it for the music and the fans, well, they are definitely the kind that are searching for more than common arrangements and run of the mill subject matter. The same can therefore be said of the The Prophecy – a band who deserve their recent accolades and one can only hope that they receive the support needed to step up to the next level. Look out for REVELATIONS when you’re searching for something new to enjoy, I have a feeling that you will not go away disappointed.