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The Prophecy - Salvation CD (album) cover


The Prophecy

Experimental/Post Metal

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4 stars Hailing from England, The Prophecy is not a band that I've acquainted myself with in the past, but if their previous output is anywhere up to par with the music on Salvation, I've really been missing out! Salvation is the fourth full-length observation from this English doom metal act, and while it primarily focuses on crafting melancholic soundscapes, the album deviates from doom metal conventions in enough ways to make for a fascinating listen. Borrowing elements from other genres and blending them into one coherent sound, Salvation is the work of truly gifted musicians and songwriters.

Salvation is a rather interesting album from a stylistic perspective, as it maintains a doomy and melancholic flair throughout its full duration, but doesn't quite sit right as a traditional doom metal release. The Prophecy borrows from alternative rock, death metal, and Fates Warning-inspired progressive metal in addition to more 'normal' sounding doom metal, and the result is an album that sounds fresh and inspired. Touches of bands like My Dying Bride (especially in their use of violin) or Confessor do appear throughout Salvation, but on the whole, this is a very unique effort.

Nearly all of the tracks here surpass the ten minute mark, so this is an album that will require some attention from its listener. I enjoyed this from first listen, however, and the band's contrast of light and heavy sections especially grabbed my attention. Not too dissimilar from Opeth, The Prophecy utilizes clean guitar sections and singing - sometimes for extended portions of time - and contrasts them with heavier doom riffs and powerful growling vocals. The Opeth comparison is not entirely valid, however, as the heavy portions always remain in doom metal territory rather than a death metal ditto. On the whole, though, the extended compositions and dispiriting atmospheres are likely to appeal to fans of more adventurous metal music. Everything from the funeral dirge opening in "Salvation" to the highly progressive "Redemption" is memorable and engaging, and it's in the songwriting department where The Prophecy perhaps shine the brightest.

There really aren't too many doom metal albums that manage to be as diverse as Salvation while still maintaining a consistent atmosphere, so I'll highly recommend this one to fans of the genre. An engaging and beautiful experience from start to finish, Salvation is an amazing record that marks one of the musical highlights of early 2013. Great work, gentlemen!

Report this review (#902854)
Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars This is the fourth album from this Yorkshire band, but is the first one that I have come across. I see from the biog that they have supported My Dying Bride among others and the label itself have termed them as 'Doom'. While they have the melancholia of that style of music, that is about it as there are times when the easily the most prominent aspect of their music are Matt's Lawson's incredible vocals. Yes there are times when the music slows down and the riffs crunch out, but they can quite easily lead into gently picked chords that are almost acoustic in their approach. The album is only five songs long, but with just one of these under ten minutes in length this is something that actually requires listening to. It isn't possible to just put this on in the background as there are loads of nuances that only come to light when the listener is playing close attention.

The album was recorded at Priory studios in Sutton Coldfields, engineered by Greg Chandler (Esoteric) and mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, Lotus Eater's etc). These guys deserve a special mention as it is the way that the sounds have been constructed that really make this stand out. I have long been a fan of MDB, but to my ears the apprentices may have surpassed the masters with this. This really is an incredible piece of work.

Report this review (#911555)
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Beginning with a doom metal blueprint based on the model of My Dying Bride and similar death-doom acts - which usually I find a rather hit-and-miss proposal - The Prophecy's Salvation almost but not quite wins me over with the band's adept use of progressive rock song structures and carefully crafted atmospherics. Typically, progressive rock influences in metal have tended to focus on faster playing than this - what better way to showcase your technical skills and your super-proggy wacky time signatures, after all? - but here The Prophecy manage to tap into spacier precedents and unlike, say, Anathema don't lose themselves in starry-eyed Pink Floyd worship. A solid release which I think I'd enjoy a lot more more if I liked the death-doom style it draws on a little better; tack on another star if you're a fan of My Dying Bride or other members of that particular Peaceville crowd.
Report this review (#981005)
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Prophecy are a band who were designed for me to like. Blending my two favourite metal genres, progressive and doom, but keeping elements of melodic rock music and pentatonic vocal lines? It's as if the band I've been trying to form for the past 3 years suddenly exists, and obviously is much better than anything I could ever produce.

It's no surprise then, that after only one listen, I was already putting this at the top of my 2013 list, and after four, I can quite honestly say this will finish up there too. The band blends beautiful baritones similar to that of Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt with the aesthetics of doom metal, but if it weren't for the greatly executed death growling segments, I would say this has very little to do with metal itself, most of the time developing a modern progressive rock feel similar to that of Riverside and recent end Porcupine Tree. But unlike Riverside, who also have a release ranking high in my 2013 list, The Prophecy avoid tedious solos, using the doom approach of only soloing when absolutely necessary, and going for a more modern production sounds, unlike Riverside's strange 70's sound job.

With 5 tracks spanning only 50 minutes, "Salvation" keeps within a decent range, and doesn't suffer the common doom trait of overstaying its welcome. But the frequent breaks from the slow and pummeling to well-voiced and melodic mean the 5 songs fly by, with the albums four 10+ minute tracks barely feeling like epics at all.

"Salvation" is The Prophecy's fourth album and the first to grace my ears, but judging from this album alone, this is a band who are in dire need of recognition, blending two very good styles to produce a possible album of the year. And it has a good cover as well.

Report this review (#981314)
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Salvation" is the 4th full-length studio album by UK, Halifax, Yorkshire based doom metal act The Prophecy. The album was released through code666 in January 2013. The Prophecy were formed in 1999 and have since the release of their debut full-length studio album "Ashes (2003)" steadily developed their brand of doom metal and increased their fanbase along the way. The lineup hasnīt changed since "Into the Light (2009)", which is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to The Prophecy, which is a band that has been mared by constant lineup changes in especially their formative years.

The music on "Salvation" is at itīs core atmospheric doom metal, but the band skillfully incorporate elements from doom/death metal and progressive metal too. The doom/death element on the album consists of occasional growling vocals. The growling vocals are not a dominant feature in the music though and most vocals on the album are clean sung. The 5 tracks on the 49:25 minutes long album are predominanly slow building (and for the most part around 10 minutes long) and dynamic tracks featuring both mellow melancholic sections and more majestic heavy parts. Sometimes Iīm reminded of a heavier version of contemporary Anathema, sometimes a Dead Can Dance influence creeps in and after listening to the album and digging into the music a bit deeper, Iīve also encountered a pretty obvious Fates Warning influence.

The musicianship are on a high level and while lead vocalist Matt Lawson isnīt the most distinct sounding vocalist out there, he is actually pretty skilled and his delivery suits the music well. Personally I could have done without the growling vocals, which are pretty anonymous, but they appear relatively seldom (they are most dominant in the closing track "Redemption"), so itīs not a major issue. "Salvation" features a professional, clear, and powerful sounding production too (although the distorted guitar tone could have been slightly more powerful) and all in all the album is a high quality release on all parameters. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#1617914)
Posted Sunday, October 2, 2016 | Review Permalink

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