Steel Prophet has always been bit of an overlooked band, who has released a long line of notable power metal records in late 90’s and early 00’s. Since then there were numerous breaks and some releases that haven’t really matched the band’s most creative era.
Now band is back with a brand-new album and yet another new singer, this time around it’s a R.D. Liapakis of Mystic Prophecy.
The God Machine opens furiously with a title-track that with its pumping beat, razor sharp riffs and catchy chorus is an embodiment of this band. Next couple of tracks follow in fairly similar manner. So far so good; Steve Kachinsky still delivers powerful riffs, which you can hum out after you’ve heard them once. Liapakis seems as a good match, that much like a band is not really original, but is professional and solidly bolted together into the entity that is Steel Prophet. His vocals often resemble numerous other singers of the genre, like for instance Bruce Dickinson, but what makes it interesting is that the parallels can for the major part been drawn towards Dickinson’s solo work, rather than his much more prolific work with Iron Maiden.
Next big batch of songs do take bit of a turn from well-known Judas Priest meets Queensrÿche inspired breed of metal towards hard rock, inspired by the likes of Whitesnake or even Kiss.
The turn is somewhat drastic, actually, but the production and ability to only focus on the gist of song-writing makes this transition less dramatic. Nevertheless, at times it feels bit too odd with that less bombastic approach and choruses that could easily be used at European Song Contest.
What makes the songs work fairly well is that they are professionally carved and executed. Kachinsky shines through and Liapakis suits the new side very well – it even feels like he’s is the one who is responsible for some of the twists and turns the band has taken on this album.
Towards the end the band picks up the pace, but unfortunately those songs lack the quality and come across as space-fillers. Things seriously go wrong on the closing track “Life = Love = God Machine” that is not only faceless, but straight-up dull.
The God Machine is an uneven form the experienced band. It most certainly does have some very strong moments and they even get away very well with their venture into the hard rock waters. But the finale of the album drags the entire experience significantly down.
Band’s ninth album is overall an enjoyable listen, but also one that will not be leaving a significant mark in band’s career.
It’s also noteworthy that if you pick up a digi-pack version of this album, you’ll receive a patch with band’s logo. That’s just fun.