The Prophecy [UK]
UK doom/death metal squad The Prophecy this year releases their fourth full length album, Salvation, under Code666 Records, a label that has caught my attention in recent times with the unique bands and their relevant release and this has left me with rather high expectations as well for Salvation.
Before anyone gets too excited, it would be good to clarify first that the death metal elements on Salvation are not really all that heavy, and often takes a back seat compared to the excellent doom metal that is on the album. But the music here is rather atmospheric and soothing, with the sound of calming wind and waves greeting the listener on opening title track Salvation. The opening notes on the clean guitar, along with the strings brings in a sense of melancholy amidst the calmness, setting down the mood and emotion for the rest of the album to come. And as the song progresses there are some slight similarities to the prog rock material of Opeth, especially as vocalist Matt starts singing, with the way he sings being rather reminiscent to Mikael Akerfeldt like the way he chooses to drag out certain words and his vocal progression, though the music here is certainly more doom-paced and slower compared to the aforementioned.
Each of the musicians here are equally capable on their instruments, and throughout the album they get to display their versatility. The songs at times even bring in some progressive influences, with the odd time signatures that the band plays at, yet are able to maintain coherence with each other. The death metal segments, rather than taking a brutal style that one may expect, is here instead to complement the at times dark atmosphere in the music. And it is here where Matt displays his abilities both as a clean vocalist and a growler, along with the heavy riffs of Greg. Drummer John also shins throughout the album, being able to quickly shift from calm, simple beats to aggressive, heavy pounding on his kit. In fact, the fusion of death metal and doom metal on Salvation brings to mind atmospheric doom bands like The Fall of Every Season.
For the most part of the album though, it is a soothing and rather refreshing journey with clean singing, clean guitars, melodic, soaring solos and a comfortable, relaxing pace, and is good as an album to chill out to after a tough day with an atmosphere sufficiently dark and with that tinge of aggression that has been infused in the band’s music with their death metal elements.