Review by Lynxie on July 2, 2023.
The Bavarian thrash/power stalwart Mystic Prophecy has been going strong for over twenty years now, and they show no signs of stopping, as Hellriot clearly proves. They are consistent for sure, and, as I always insist, that is a virtue. I'm probably more partial about the thrashier side of power metal, so the line between consistency and repetition blurs when judging bands that fit the tag. Yet with every fucking riff these Germans throw at you, you know they are screaming at you to bang your head. That's all I've ever needed. That's what metal had first meant to me.
Interestingly enough, Mystic Prophecy seems to have completely done away with their 5-min songs and, in Hellriot's case, their radio-friendly rock ballads. Truly Hellriot has one purpose and one purpose only with its existence -- deliver the most Mystic Prophecy album. The meaty riffs, the song titles that get repeated at least thrice in each song, the never-aging raspy voice of Lia, the almost AI-generated rants about ''hell'', ''burn'', ''devil'', yada yada, Hanno Kerstan pounding onwards relentlessly... it's the same business with either speedy numbers like the 'Rising With The Storm' or heavy-as-hell tracks like 'World On Fire'. Their mixture of aggression and melody is ever perfect; it shows especially on 'Road To Babylon'. And Lia even went for some harsh vocals on 'Azrael', invoking that nostalgia from Satanic Curses. Indeed, Hellriot is hardy and it hits hard, never even stopping one moment in its thrash power gusto to go for some atmospheric moments like Mystic Prophecy did on 'Here Comes The Winter'. Needless to say it's a good thing they'd kept the album's length to 40 minutes. Any longer the monotony would catch up with the listener and drag its reputation down that hellhole Sabaton went. As a result, Mystic Prophecy managed to make Hellriot a satisfying play of prime thrash power. Oh, and need I mention that the solo of 'World On Fire' is truly on fire?
Well, Mystic Prophecy is without doubt one of the most reliable bands in the genre. They've never strayed (Monuments Uncovered don't count!) and on occasions I feel they are recycling riffs. I mean, are you sure 'Demons Of The Night' wasn't something off War Brigade? But nevermind, I don't care. Mystic Prophecy is no food for thought. It's here to blow your face clean off and snap your neck. It's the way they work and it's the only thing I ask for. They've done it magnificently on Hellriot, again.
Highlights: 'Hellriot', 'Demons of The Night', 'Rising With The Storm', 'Road To Babylon', 'Azrael', 'World On Fire'
Rating: 8.9 out of 10352