Steel Prophet - Omniscient - (6.5/10)
Published on September 6, 2014
Genre:Heavy Metal / Power
Label:Cruz Del Sur Music
Trust Steel Prophet to come back with an album fringing on lunacy. A massive ten year gap sits between current opus Omniscient and its predecessor Beware, and whilst I’m not entirely sure what contributed to such a long hiatus, I can say I’m happy to have them back – although with an album I’m sure no-one expected.
On the surface this is still good old USPM channelled through a wild sense of creativity. The logical continuation of sounds spawned in the eighties, whether their own or reflective of then contemporaries/heroes Fates Warning, Jag Panzer, or Helstar. Steel Prophet remain relatively unspoiled of the modernisms which hallmark the current works of their USPM brethren, here they channel that traditional eighties approach through wild, unhinged song-writing.
It works more often than not, but as I’ve kind of stressed so far, the album feels rather rambunctious to me. You get a lot of bang for your buck with fourteen tracks clocking just over an hour, but it does unfortunately include numbers debatable in quality, an ill-advised cover, and some generally weird music. I’ve heard this is a concept release, but don’t have the necessary information to delve into it. Nonetheless, songs like “666 is Everywhere (The Heavy Metal Blues)”, and its following short piece “Oleander Deux”, leave me cold, confused, and wanting to listen Dark Hallucinations instead. Even the identifiably good “Through Time and Space” suffers from odd arrangement and transitions.
There are some killer numbers to sate the appetite of long time fans, though. The first stretch of songs is particularly cool, and features everything good about Steel Prophet. Particularly the opening pair of “Trickery Of The Scourge”, and “When I Remake The World (a Key Flaw)”, which struggle to hold back their myriad of ideas, yet unleash them in a more professional and pleasing manner, than in the aforementioned “Through Time and Space”.
Overall, I’m left with mixed feels. When it’s good, it’s pretty darn killer, but like I say there’s a lot of weird stuff that doesn’t really register with me. Maybe it will click further down the line, although for now I’d suggest approaching with level expectation. Still, it’s great to have these guys back, and in true unpredictable fashion.