Released: 2003, Nuclear Blast
I popped this CD on without knowing a thing about Mystic Prophecy. The name was vaguely familiar, but I went ahead and listened to it a few times without reading the bio or credits. When it came time to write this review, I finally figured I’d read the band’s bio to see who they were. I was quite surprised to see that the guitarist is Gus G., yes the very same guitarist from the great Dream Evil, is the guitarist for Mystic Prophecy! Make no fucking wonder this CD smokes!!
I had no idea what the hell a “regressus” was until I read the band’s bio as well. In case you’re wondering, it means “The Return” in English. What that has anything to do with the album’s lyrics, I don’t know since I don’t have a lyric sheet with the promo CD. REGRESSUS is Mystic Prophecy’s second album and their first for Nuclear Blast who has signed the band to a multi-album deal. Besides the young guitar hero from Dream Evil / Firewind, Gus G., the band consists of Greek vocalist R. D. Liapakis (Valley’s Eve), bass player Martin Albrecht (ex-Stormwitch), drummer Dennis Ekdahl (Raise Hell – a killer band I need to find the time to listen to more extensively). As you can guess from the involvement of members from bands like Raise Hell (more if an extreme/thrash metal band), Valley’s Eve (prog/power) Dream Evil (traditional metal / power metal) the mixture of styles of more extreme metal with power metal makes for a power/thrash treat. Power metal fans will love this, and those who love to complain about power metal not being very powerful will have their heads banging to this POWER-ful band. For those looking for comparisons, if you like awesome bands like Primal Fear, Eidolon, Imagika, Forbidden, Seven Witches, Nevermore, Angel Dust, Chinchilla, etc. then chances are that something about this will be of interest.
REGRESSUS opens with the album’s strongest track, the ultra-catchy “Calling From Hell”. The vocals soar on the chorus of this one and the music is a perfect mix of heavy riffing and melody. The opening one string riff pattern would fit on a Primal Fear album and grabbed my attention right away. At about the 3min mark they break into a thrashy riff right before the guitar solo, it’s too bad that riff wasn’t extended…but I’m being picky, this is a great song. “Eternal Flame” follows it up in fine form but is a slight step down. Things really pick up again on the third track, “Lords of Pain”. This one is a nice mixture of power and thrash with a killer riff for the chorus. “Sign of the Cross” brings the tempo down a bit and is more of a heavy metal song than thrash/speed/power. “Night of The Storm” pummels with the double kicks and chugging rhythms. “In Your Sins” and “Forgotten Soul” contains a slight Forbidden vibe with the drumming and riffing in a few places. “When Demons Return” has a killer solo that begins with some major ear catching runs by guitar whiz Gus G.
My only minor complaint about this album is that about ¾ the way through, my mind kind of began to wander. It’s probably not a result of weak songs, but moreso a result of a slight lack of diversity. By this point in the album there were no real surprises left to uncover I guess. I listened to the album in reverse order to see if it was the songs, and it’s not, it was just the sameness of many of the songs. Either way, this is a minor complaint. I’ll be putting REGRESSUS into the CD changer in the car, since I get to hear an album dozens of times over a couple months this way.