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Steel Prophet: Unseen

The future of Steel Prophet may be uncertain singer Rick Mythiasin left because of "musical and personal differences" weeks before the release of the band's sixth full-length album, Unseen, and various Internet sites report other defections but this much is clear: Unseen is the strongest album from a band that's never released a front-to-back killer record. While 2000's Messiah and last year's Book of the Dead are both solid slabs of power and thrash metal, Unseen manages to toss all of the band's influences into a melting pot of molten melodies.

Early Armored Saint ("Truth"), mid-period Queensryche ("Among the Damned") and latter-day Megadeth ("Martyred") find their place on these 12 tracks. The gritty and creepy "Killer's Confession," the moody "Magenta" and the anti-racism "Blackest of Hearts" also stand out. Mythiasin's performance remains subtle yet effective throughout most of the album, and his voice is augmented by tight playing by guitarists Steve Kachinsky and Jim Williams, drummer Karl Roqvist and bass player Vince Dennis.

All that said, nothing here is quite as compelling as Messiah's phenomenal ballad, "Earth & Sky." But the unrest the band appears to have experienced during the making of Unseen is not apparent in the flurry of riffs and sharp-tongued lyrics. Plus, I'd like to think that the album's underlying sense of urgency comes more from the music itself than from what was going on behind the music.

Added: September 21st 2009
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Steel Prophet Web Site
Hits: 3783
Language: english

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Steel Prophet: Unseen
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-09-21 08:00:52
My Score:

This is another case for not forming an opinion of something before you actually hear it first. I pushed this CD to the back burner for quite sometime and again, I wish that I hadn't. As I have turned out to be quite pleasantly surprised.

Formed in the '80's, the band Steel Prophet delivers a Progressive Metal sound reminiscent of Connecticut favorite, Fates Warning, as well as a heavier, younger Queensryche during their Rage For Order days. Melodic with searing vocals and a nice metallic sheen, with nice subtle and tasty guitar work. A re-issue of their 2002 album, "Unseen" (Metal Mind Productions) has been released and unfortunately I'm sure that it went widely unnoticed. And to be honest I had never heard this record until now, but I'm glad that I had a chance to listen to it because it's a great Melodic Prog Metal record, especially when I didn't know what to expect going into it.

Opening with the stellar track, "Truth", Steel Prophet show that they are very much a band steeped in the '80's even though this was first released in '02, and that's a good thing. With excellent melodic harmonized guitars and very good John Arch (original Fates Warning vox) meets a higher pitched and younger sounding Eric Adams (Manowar) vocals delivered by singer Rick Mythiasin, that tend to grow on you, it's simply too bad a band like this flew under the radar of most Metal fans. "Unseen" has 12 tracks on it with only one slower, ballad type of tune, which leaves us with 11 other up tempo songs filled with some great musicianship and equally as good production. Check out great tunes like, "Mirror, Mirror, Life after Life" or "Blackest of Hearts"; Melodic, heavy and straight up good stuff. The proggy keyboards add a dimension to the already good songs and they are really used as a texture as there is no full time keyboard player in the band. Steel Prophet are able to blend "Old School" Metal, with a very melodic approach at the same time while not sound "sappy". They just make it work and with each listen "Unseen" just gets better and better. Don't you love records like that?!

While Steel Prophet is definitely in the category of an unknown US Power Metal/Melodic band to the masses, a good record is a good record and sometimes you just need to have an outlet to be turned onto a band that you otherwise would have not heard before. This Steel Prophet record is on of those. "Unseen" is a solid release and it just goes to show you that you can't always judge a book (or CD) by its cover.

Steel Prophet: Unseen
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-07-29 18:39:30
My Score:

****This is a review of the 2009 remastered edition of Unseen*********

Metal Mind Productions continues their reissue series of the back catalog of one of the USA's most overlooked prog/power/thrash metal bands, Steel Prophet. Unseen is considered by many to be the band's last solid release, and coincidentally it was also the last album featuring lead vocalist Rick Mythiasin. Originally released on Nuclear Blast Records in 2002, Unseen is given the usual Metal Mind treatment here, delivered in a gorgeous digipack that recreates the original artwork and photos from the original CD release, and the sound on this reissue is absolutely stellar.

Steel Prophet were always a pretty unique band-their thrashy, somewhat progressive styled power metal owed much to Fates Warning and Iron Maiden, but here they inject some additional melody and haunting atmosphere to their already solid display of huge guitar riffs, cunning arrangements, and soaring vocals. Mythiasin goes for a more melodic vocal style this time around, and spends less time on upper register shrieks, while the twin guitar attack of Steve Kachinsky & Jim Williams deliver plenty of crunchy riffage and virtuoso solos. Highlights are many, but look out especially for songs such as "Among the Damned", "Rainwalker", "One Way Out", "Martyred", and "Shattered Apart" for starters, but honestly, there's really not a bad tune in the bunch. Sadly, after Mythiasin left, this band was never the same, which is a shame as they really could have and should have been huge.

Unfortunately, Metal Mind didn't add any bonus tracks here, so chances are if you had the original Nuclear Blast release, you might not be too tempted to go out and snatch this one up. However, if you failed to discover Unseen earlier in the decade, now's a good time to do so. Then go out and get Book of the Dead and you've got a great 1-2 punch of Steel Prophet.

Track Listing
1. Truth
2. Rainwalker
3. One Way Out
4. Shattered Apart
5. Among the Damned
6. Bolero
7. Mirror, Mirror, Life after Life
8. Magenta
9. Blackest of Hearts
10. Martyred
11. Killer's Confession
12. Magenta [Reprise]

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