Mystic Prophecy - Metal Division
Rock of Angels
Heavy Metal
11 songs (43:39)
Release year: 2020
Mystic Prophecy
Reviewed by Goat

German power/thrashers Mystic Prophecy have a long-term following here at MetalReviews, eight out of ten of their previous albums receiving coverage. And although they're not always evenly praised, there is a sense that the band's strengths are consistent even if, say, their songwriting isn't always equally so. The strengths are of course, considerable, from frontman Roberto Dimitri Liapakis' commanding voice with just the right amount of grit to elevate this from mere power metal cheese, to guitarists Markus Pohl and relatively new guy Evangelos Koukoularis, who has only been in the band for two years but is a more than solid lead player. And Metal Division, the band's eleventh album since forming two decades ago, is equally solid, mostly cranking out the sort of pounding metal anthem that you'd expect given a title like that! As Die With The Hammer and Victory is Mine show, they're not afraid to let the heavier side of their sound through with snarled vocals and a pounding thrashiness to the riffs. There are plenty of mid-paced pounders like Alexander the Great tribute Hail to the King, coming over as a mix of Iced Earth and Hammerfall, and even the mandatory ballad isn't bad, Here Comes the Winter suitably gloom-tinged initially but soon adding plenty of lead melody and rhythm riffage to underpin Liapakis' voice.

Eye to Eye and Curse of the Slayer nod to speed metal here and there, alternating a crunching gallop with plenty of chances for Liapakis to show off with the first of several catchy choruses on the album (and also letting drummer Hanno Kerstan have a little space to shine, too). And although Dracula may stray slightly into a groovier, more hard rockin' type of heavy metal that even throws in some Black Label Society-esque pinch harmonics, it's just as infectious as the surrounding tracks. There's only one misstep and even that depends on personal taste; the opening title track will have its fans but it's exactly the sort of cliched 'metal brotherhood' anthem that we've all heard a thousand times before, even before you get onto the cringy "brothers of metal/together until the end" lyrics! Those siren-like guitars are the wrong side of irritating, too, although the band partly make up for them with some typically stellar soloing. And otherwise, all that's left to criticise is the production, a bit 'loud' and compressed when a more natural mix would enhance the metallic crunch of Mystic Prophecy's music far better. Still, that seems to be how the band prefer it, and although fans could well hold up earlier releases as superior, Mystic Prophecy have made yet another fun heavy metal album here.

Killing Songs :
Eye to Eye, Here Comes the Winter, Curse of the Slayer
Goat quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Mystic Prophecy that we have reviewed:
Mystic Prophecy - War Brigade reviewed by Andy and quoted 69 / 100
Mystic Prophecy - Ravenlord reviewed by Thomas and quoted 80 / 100
Mystic Prophecy - Fireangel reviewed by Thomas and quoted 75 / 100
Mystic Prophecy - Satanic Curses reviewed by Marty and quoted 86 / 100
Mystic Prophecy - Savage Souls reviewed by Marty and quoted 88 / 100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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