Mystic Prophecy are back in their one-album-every-two-years motif delivering another great release.
Listening to “War Brigade” for the first time the impression that you get is that it’s somewhere near “Ravenlord”, which I think is the band’s best album to date. All its essential characteristics are there and unwind from the first notes of “Follow The Blind”. Liapakis classic performance with his heavy breathing on the microphone, the catchy melodies that stick right to the brain and you can sing along right away and it’s bombastic groove. Add some touches of traditional Greek music to all that, as well as the famous Spartans ancient Greek motto: “i tan, i epi tas” (=referring to the Spartan soldiers shields and meaning “either bring it back as a winner in the war, or bring you back from the war on it dead”) which is included in the lyrics of “A Good Day To Day”, and Lakis Ragkazas exceptional feeling on guitar bringing something more bluesy to the mix making his solos a point of reference.
The only time the foot comes off the gas is on the ballad “10,000 Miles Away” that’s strategically placed right in the middle of the album before Mystic Prophecy return for their…fastbreak. All in all, I’d say that ten out of the eleven songs are top notch only leaving out “The Devil Is Back”, not because it’s bad, or anything, but just because comparing it to the rest I didn’t enjoy as much, like for example “War Panzer” that might fool you with its slow intro before the double bass drum and blazing guitars erupt. Surely, those that definetely stand out and I’d put into the best of the best of Mystic Prophecy are “The Crucifix” and “Metal Brigade”.
So, here is a band that will not easily let its fans down with any release. Of course, some albums will always be better than others, for personal, emotional reasons, but what’s certain is that “War Brigade” is one of those that set the standards very high and I am sure that will give Dimitris Liapakis a hard time to top it on the next one, which is going to be the band’s tenth!