Messiah (Nuclear Blast)
by Martin Popoff
Steel Prophet are without a doubt one of America’s marquee power metal bands, slotting comfortably and confidently between Helloween and the likes of Primal Fear, exuding the veteran songskills built of a dozen years of sincere and striving existence. The band is notably at the heavy, note-dense and precision-swift end of the spectrum, featuring a slicing, slashing and exacting twin lead attack and dynamic vocals from one Rick Mythiasin. Messiah is one of those day-dreamy albums that you could imagine as the savior and triumph of Priest or Maiden, the sum brisk-rocking total of Messiah being characteristic of top-flight writing by either legendary pre-power package. But beware: there’s a lot of short-shorn heads in the band, these L.A. transplants (with many Fates Warning connections) looking like Bolivian soccer players. But looks are deceiving: these guys, along with Kamelot and newcomers like Jacobs Dream are gonna bring the power metal cup home to North America with a crushing 3-nil decision.
(PO Box 43618 Philadelphia, PA 19106)