Album: The Illuminated Sky
Release Date: 21st July, 2017
Label: Sensory Records
Review by Sean
Another band I’ve not heard of, and another band I’ve discovered I like after reviewing them. This time it’s UK group Prospekt.
Let’s get straight into this one, shall we? The album kicks things off with a bang. An impactful intro track titled ‘Ex Nihilo’ (literally “From Nothing”), that is over long before you think it will be, but transitions nicely into second and also album title track, ‘The Illuminated Sky’. Just as with the intro track, this song is heavy, fast, symphonic as fuck, and just honestly fucking great. I’m so glad I discovered this band, even if it took me a while, as I’ve been craving some really good Power Metal for a while, and Prospekt have well and truly delivered here. As you will see when you read further, the guitar solo work in this album will feature pretty heavily, and with good reason. The soloing on this track tells you just how heavily, by being a gorgeous, blistering masterpiece of work.
‘Titan’ is the name of the third track, and gives us a punchier, faster, more classic Power Metal sound, reminiscent of the earlier German bands that pioneered the genre. Again, the solo stands out by far, but the whole track is like a time capsule for fans of that old school European Power Metal that just seems to be lacking these days.
Following that, we have ‘Distant Anamnesis’, a soft, slower track than the others so far, serving as a transitional track between the previous track and ‘Beneath Enriya’.
‘Beneath Enriya’ keeps the slower, more methodical pace of the transition (or is it an intro to this track? Answers on our Facebook!), though the sound is a little bit more upbeat overall, but only just. This track sticks out to me as a possible favourite, because I just loved the melodies here. It’s a real humdinger of a track, and I highly recommend checking this one out, alongside the faster stuff too, because this isn’t everything Prospekt have to offer. Special shout out once again to the solo, which I can only describe as (and I hate using this word) epic. It really is though, and absolutely deserves listening to.
From there, we have a radical change with ‘In The Shadows Of The Earth’. This one brings with it a fierce, punching pace from the word go, and keeps up a blinding pace throughout, which actually serves to help me make my point about listening to more than just the previous track to get to grips with what these guys can do. Once again, it’s the solo work that truly stands out, a definite highlight on a definite highlight track.
‘Alien Makers Of Discord’ however, brings us back to that classic Power Metal sound, and is another favourite of mine. I love the overall sound on this one as well. I mean, OBVIOUSLY the guitar work is impeccable, but the whole band is on fire here, and this is another one of the main block of the album that you really need to listen to. Yet again the solo work is just amazing, and at one point I actually said “wow” out loud. My cat stared at me and carried on licking himself. He was not as impressed. But the guest work of eminent American guitarist Greg Howe really adds more of that virtuoso sound to this one. Check it out.
Fuckin’ hell ‘Cosmic Emmisary’ is a blinder! And it’s here, eight tracks deep into this album that it finally dawned on me. This album isn’t Power Metal, it’s just utter guitar porn, and I fucking love it! Everything about this sound truly encapsulates just how great Prospekt are, and how truly underrated they are as well. Special mention to the new vocalist too, who blew me away on this track in particular. This one is my actual favourite off the entire album, there’s no debating that. It’s grand, it’s headbangy, it takes you somewhere, and I never wanted it to end.
However, now we reach the closing stages of the album, and ‘Akaibata’ really does bring things back down to Earth. This one is something I’d say is for people who liked some emotion with their power metal. The softer, slower side that really hits you when you’re down. It’s my least favourite track on the album, but it is still an exceedingly good track.
Finally, we reach album closer ‘Where Masters Fall’, featuring Dragonforce’s Marc Hudson on guest vocals. Musically it’s quite a stop/start song, and honestly, there’s not much to say about this one other than the last bit of the song rescues the latter stages of the album, which were weaker than the rest of it.
On the whole, a bloody good effort from a band you may not have heard of, and definitely one I’ll be playing again, but I’d have ended the album with a bang, the same way it started.
01. Ex Nihilo
02. The Illuminated Sky
04. Distant Anamnesis
05. Beneath Enriya
06. In The Shadows of The Earth
07. Alien Makers of Discord (feat. Greg Howe)
08. Cosmic Emissary
10. Where Masters Fall (feat. Marc Hudson)
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ProspektUK
Get the album here: lasersedge.bandcamp.com/album/the-illuminated-sky