Sonic Prophecy are a Power Metal band from Utah. They formed in 2008 and this is their third album. Their website boasts that they, “Wanted to capture the excitement and sound of such bands as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween, Hammerfall, and Kamelot while melding other musical styles, arriving at a sound all their own.” That’s a very accurate summary of their sound. This is a band with deep roots in classic Heavy Metal. There’s no Nu Metal here, no Thrash; you can draw a straight line from these guys all the way back to the Metal of the early 1980s.
The notes for this review listed the bands whose influence was clear. Of the bands mentioned in the bio, only Kamelot did not stand out, the rest were in our list. Other bands mentioned include Metal Church, Dio, Queensryche and Manowar. Iron Maiden is probably the most distinctive one. The use of harmony guitar lines is not as frequent as in 1980s Maiden, but when they use it, it’s front and centre and the influence is undeniable.
That’s not to say this is a rip off band. It’s more like these guys have lived and breathed Metal their whole lives and, like Manowar, it just consumes them. We found a website where Darrin Goodman, the lead guitarist, was offering online guitar lessons in 2015. That’s interesting because he’s an excellent guitar player, but all the more because it’s not flashy. There’s no Thrash here, and while the leads are fast enough, it’s the heaviness of the riffs and solos that you notice, not their technical flash. These guys set out to be a strong team, and not to stand out. Everything you hear is obviously created to serve the music and it’s obvious that a lot of live shows have gone into how well they work together in the studio.
Strong moments include the soft, bass focused intro to ‘Walk Through the fire’ which, with the harmony guitars, make this the most Maiden sounding track; the more commercial sound of ‘Dreaming of the Storm’ which is very evocative of Empire-era Queensryche, and the Dio-like ‘Man and Machine’ which is a Heavy Metal ballad. ‘Iron Clad Heart,’ which is an obvious nod to the sounds of recent Helloween, is probably the most modern sounding song on the CD.
According to the site we found, Goodman appears to be 39, which means he was born in 1978, and was mostly watching He-Man in the 80s. If the other band members are a similar age, perhaps they had older brothers, but one way or another, the degree to which these guys are steeped in traditional Heavy Metal is very impressive. With two other albums under their belts, which have also had impressive reviews, this looks like a band to keep an eye on. It seems likely they will be impressing us for a while.
SONIC PROPHECY’S SAVAGE GODS IS RELEASED JANUARY 19. PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY VIA ROCKSHOTS HERE!