Steel Prophet: Power Supremacy From Out Of The West
by Martin Popoff
'Caesar, beware these days!' So opens 'The Ides Of March', which then, through the unquestioned Dickinson conviction and Manowar might of Steel Prophet lead vocalist Rick Mythiasin, goes on to become one of those special power metal moments, those choice backbone-brushing instances that make a metal album join your blood, the lack thereof, sending what might look like a perfectly serviceable perfection spread, into the anonymity of "the racks."
It is a lusty, steely, weather-beaten song, driven as the pure white snow by a gallop fast and true. But the heart and soul of the band knows it, Steve Kachinsky having taken Steel Prophet through ten years and five CDs worth of tempering, and most of it in the wilds, the underground, the fringes of American metal acceptance. But triumphant European touring changed all that, and Nuclear Blast released a strappling album in '99 called Dark Hallucinations.
It is now time for Steel Prophet, and by extension, American power metal, a feisty bunch of bands both new and old, gleefully note-dense and hopped up on time signatures, to topple the giants of Europe, who, let's be honest, are getting a little tired. What is Steel Prophet's secret weapon? "Harmony would be the big thing we bring to the table," offers Steve. "Most metal bands nowadays just kind of like slam you over the head with a riff that is then doubled or tripled. And everybody is kind of just in synch. But we like to throw a lot of harmony on that, intertwine melody lines that are going on in the background. We just like to throw a bunch of different textures in there to colour the whole thing. Also, I think what separates us from most of is that onstage we're like a punk band, basically raw energy, guitars down low, thrashing, jumping, spitting, etc., but playing our kind of music. I don't think you see that anywhere else."
Messiah seems crafted for such happy headbanging, indeed building on Dark Hallucinations by focusing. "Part of the problem with Dark Hallucinations is that the production wasn't so good, so we didn't get the clarity of the drums and the guitar tones," offers Steve in retrospect. "The songs are a little bit different also. On that album we were pretty much progressive on most of the songs, where each song had a few different tempos and moods and styles all melded into one song. On the new one, each song has pretty much one feel." Tracks to key on, according to Steve, would be 'Mysteries Of Iniquity', which he calls a "Sabbath-y grind with keyboards", also featuring a guest female vocal, and 'Vengeance Attained' which ends with a Moog synthesizer solo.
Steel Prophet Interview Page 2