Promethium – 'Faces Of War' Album Review

February 12, 2018

Tracklist:

1. Enemies Of Fate

2. Declaration

3. P.O.W

4. Shell Shock 

5. 20,21,15

6. Turncoat

7. Stolen Valour

8. Final Solution

9. Kill On Demand

10. Faces Of War

 

It has taken Promethium an AGE to follow up 2nd album 'Origins' but they have gigged heavily with the material for this album for well over a year and it shows on this release. The songs are structurally sound and focused at every moment. 

 

Opener 'Enemies Of Fate' was released as the first single and is a guttural opener that fills you with dread of the ominous concept of war. I was unsure of the song initially without the album to follow. In context it makes more sense to me but I feel 'Kill On Demand' would have made a blinding introduction to the album for new listeners, 'Enemies Of Fate' epitomises an album track for me. It needs to be there within the context of the album but doesn't stand up on it's own as a single. 

 

'Declaration' is a faster tempo, thrashier number obliterated open with the yell of “THIS IS WAR” from singer Steve. The song opens up the differing dimensions of the band, plenty of time changes and an unexpected melodic solo in the bridge from Dan. 

 

The concept of this record is not something that interests me unfortunately, so I find it hard for myself to engage with any of the lyrical content but I can do nothing but be bowled over by the passion and visceral energy of Steve Graham, best highlighted I feel in 'P.O.W'. 

 

My favourite cut of the record is track 4 'Shell Shock'. A brooding clean section opens the song with a tasteful groove from drummer Kev. The whisper track underneath Steve's Matt Heafy esque vocals is a great touch and really adds depth to the ambience of the song. This song has such a powerful chorus and we see Steve really reach the roof of his range in the chorus via some excellent harmony work. Complete with an incredible short solo from Dan who never seems to overplay which I find a welcome change for a band this heavy. 

 

'20, 21, 15' features a cameo from Massive Wagons frontman, Barry Mills. He and Steve trade off lines within the verses. They sing in unison in the pre chorus and then produce a very clever counter melody between each other in the chorus. I am interested in how they are gonna re produce this live. 

 

'Turncoat', 'Stolen Valour' and 'Final Solution' highlight my problems with the record. A lot of the songs seem to be in the same key, with that low chugging E, dominating most of the riffs. Now, this works for a Thrash band that has a Dave Mustaine sounding vocalist but I feel it has a negative effect on someone with such a melodic voice as Steve. He starts using the same notes and melodies and I don't feel that's conscious. I feel it is indicative of the songs being harmonically similar, with little room for his voice to be different. This however is my only nitpick of the record. All three are great Metal tracks, but do not accommodate Steve. The vocals feel like an afterthought on these tracks. 

 

'Kill On Demand' is by far the most accessible track on the record. A fantastic sing along melody in the chorus and a song that I feel counteracts my problems with the previous songs. It is clearly in a different key to the rest of the albums songs and it shows. Lyrically it could also be separated from the concept. I found myself drawn into the words of this one. 

 

Album closer and title track 'Faces Of War' transitions from a melodic verse to a blistering powerhouse chorus. A great album ending that aptly leads us to a close. 

 

A brilliant release from the Promethium lads and by far my favourite record they have done. I think it will turn some heads in the Metal world. You know what to do, BUY IT!

 

Website - www.promethiumband.com

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Promethiumband/

 

Review - Matt Jones

 

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