Steel Prophet - Unseen

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Nuclear Blast
Catalog Number: NB 1009
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:09:00

I am more than impressed with Unseen than I have been with any other Steel Prophet album. Being their 6th album, it marks a minor change for a band that is considered unlike other power metal bands, and not only because they come to us from the USA.

I've had problems listening to them in the past, simply [due] to what I would consider the annoying vocals of one Rick Mythiasin. As sacreligious as that may be, on this album I am enjoying his singing! Yes that's right - he is singing on this album instead of screeching as he'd done on such albums as Dark Hallucinations, Messiah, and Book Of The Dead. And I'm loving it. The downside to this, though, is that they have lost a fraction of their originality as they delve into something akin to "proper" US power metal.

Before listening to the album I must admit I was ready to start this review with the comment "this is pants," but from the moment it started, my preconceptions faded into oblivion, as I felt that this was different from past albums. I'd liked some of their work, although disliked a lot of it, because I always felt the connection between musicians and vocalist just wasn't there. To my ears, this lack of cohesion and feeling has been rectified and Rick Mythiasin just works in this role and his singing is outstanding and not forced. And on "Blackest Of Hearts" Rick sounds like Dave Mustaine (ex-Megadeth).

The first half of Unseen I would consider to be relatively new ground for Steel Prophet as they concoct this new found freedom around a range of outstanding new songs. The differing tempos are still evident and there is a little bit less of the Maiden influences on Unseen, too, and musically they round off their sound more expertly with more diversity and clarity whilst retaining, as always, a raw and edgy production (courtesy of Warrior guitarist Joe Floyd). But this is a much more balanced Steel Prophet. There are minor touches of some weird keyboard arrangements on the opening tracks "Truth" and "Rainwalker" but these add to the album rather than detract from it and a very Dan Spitz (Anthrax) introduction to the track "Among The Damned." Other standout tracks include "Mirror, Mirror (Life After Life)," and the progressive "Martyred," whilst the acoustic led ballad "Magenta," which is also reprised as the last song, is the weakest vocally.

In [at the time] recent news - on July 16th, 2002 - Steel Prophet and Rick Mythiasin have parted ways citing musical and personal differences - allowing Rick to concentrate on his other band Taraxacum.

If you've had problems with Steel Prophet in the past, I'd ask that you give them another go - you might get more out of this than other albums. If you are already a fan of them then I can't see why you wouldn't like this album. The most well-rounded of the Steel Prophet albums.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Truth / Rainwalker / One Way Out / Shattered Apart / Among The Damned / Bolero / Mirror, Mirror (Life After Life) / Magenta / Blackest Of Hearts / Martyred / Killer's Confession / Magenta (Reprise)

Rick Mythiasin - vocals
Steve Kachinsky - guitars
Jim Williams - guitars
Vince Dennis - bass
Karl Rosqvist -drums

Inner Ascendence (demo) (1989)
The Goddess Principle (1995)
Continuum (1996)
Into The Void (Hallucinogenic Conception) (1997)
Dark Hallucinations (1999)
Messiah (2000)
Genesis (2000)
Book Of The Dead (2001)
Unseen (2002)
Beware (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: February 20th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 894
Language: english


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