Steel Prophet Unseen

Here's something you don't see everyday, a power metal band with an African-American dude holding down part of the rhythm section. The old stereotype of white folks being devoid of rhythm certain may explain why the traditional/power metal sub-genre has been dominated by alabaster skin tones, but it goes nowhere in explaining how a brother came to be down with this program. Especially considering the band doesn't really do much more than play solid metal, the type of which Maiden and Fates Warning have already been doing for the last 200 years. Musically, Steel Prophet aren't too overbearing, as they temper their staid metallic base with brief flashes of technicality, guitar wank and the odd tempo change, which results in some very tasty songs. Their vocalist, on the other hand, comes across as a melodramatic whiner; the kind of guy overly concerned with how his hair looks as he sings to the bands' significant others and the five people who actually like his band; the kind of guy with 100 thin silver bracelets around his wrist. Whatever; pick your cliché, but this band is actually pretty decent, providing their vocalist keeps his trap shut, which I wouldn't bet on him doing. Innovative and moody tracks like "Among The Damned" and "Martyred" get diced to bits due to the fact that he just doesn't know when to zip it. Too bad. (Nuclear Blast)