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Anthology - The Prophecy

Anthology -  CD Review
The Prophecy

The Prophecy



CD Info
Self Released
11 tracks
English lyrics

Anthology is a Slovakian based sextet with one previous release to their credit, a 2011 release entitled “Exitus”. That release, I understand, was performed in Slovakian as opposed to the English found on the current offering. There seem to have been lineup changes over the past several years, I’m still a little confused as to who the current vocalist is. There’s two names, Lubica Gavalsová and Raylyn Shayde, one of whom is probably the vocalist heard on this release. Whatever the name, she’s a lovely blond, as seen in videos associated with this release, and a more than adequate vocalist given the style of music presented. The rest of the band confirm that this is probably a worthwhile live performance, should you ever find yourself with free time in Slovakia and the need to hear some entertaining femme metal.

There’s a consistent level of symphonic sound throughout several of the tracks. You get that from the intro track, The River of Mystery. This is one of those classically oriented things you often get with Gothic oriented music, something to set the stage for what follows. And this one is as nice as any, a keyboard based thematic that leads to choral work from somewhere that provides the “mystery” in the title. It grows a bit and becomes a bit more dramatic and finally yields to the second track, The Prophecy. Here the classical continues at one level but the guitars take over the primary role. Our vocalist eventually joins the fray, either Lubica or Raylyn. She’s not as classically oriented as the background instrumental but she handles the chore with aplomb. You get an interesting accent that comes through with the vocal. Some might find this distracting, I see it as a positive, there’s clearly an air of mystery and effect that give her contribution a little something extra. Lyrically, the thoughts focus on dark concerns and fears:

Walk with it. Find your portal of peace. / In the woods you are looking for a release.
The day ends and fear filled your body. / The secret of woods starts. You hear somebody.
Trees are restless. / Run away and save the ball from emptiness.

You have to find the escape door. / Do not lose the only salvation.
Your fantasy becomes a liar. / The last thing that stops the war.
Do not succumb to the temptation. / Please save us from the fire.

You quickly begin to realize that the classical that drove the first track has been replaced by some fairly crushing metal. There’s still some classical keyboard material here but this is more clearly classified as some form of power metal rather than symphonic.

The following track is Lost Dreams and we continue with the full speed ahead approach driven largely by the guitars and the pounding drums. Vocals seem to fit the theme, this is not beautiful music and the vocalist seems to have no intention of moving it in that direction. And that seems to be the intention of the band. I asked for a description of the music and received this reply: “It is hard to describe. It is kind of mix of power, speed, symphonic and melodic elements. The lead guitarist Matthias writes the most of our songs and for the new album we used harder riffs, more keyboards and some orchestral sounds. It is our Anthology style.” Well, yea, that covers a lot of territory and you do get examples of each, more than one in several tracks which take different roads to tell a tale. I actually liked the symphonic components when they appeared and mentioned it to the band. Their reply: “Yes, we want to play power/symphonic metal, and keyboards are key stuff to make power metal from symphonic metal. Our next album should be even more symphonic.”

Lyrically the tracks range through a multitude of topics. Some are more interesting than others. You get the feeling this was a first attempt at English lyrics, some are a little difficult to get through, others are quite interesting. Again, the band commented on this: “The main inspiration for our songs is imagination. Lyrics are in theme of fantasy and mystery, but some of them are inspired by stories and situations from the real life.” Rise Up! provides some interesting thoughts conveyed over a haunting background of metal and symphonic:

Screams of pain you can hear everywhere / Loaded guns are ready to shoot the target
Your dead friends are falling all around / Enemy pushes you down and the hope is leaving

If you have feeling that everything is breaking down
Don't give up and try to expend the last force to lift yourself from ground

There’s a guitar solo at the end of this that will stick with you for a while. These guys know their way around an axe.

Anthology is at its best when they put the entire package together, symphonics, metal, choral work, double kick drums and the howling vocalist all working in unison. One of the best examples of this is Scream Into the Darkness. This one is one of the best from a production standpoint, also one of the tightest in terms of writing. The choral component takes it to a higher level, especially when that component is driven over the drums. Not sure how they handle that stuff but, whatever they’re doing, wish they’d do it more often. They add another component, a spoken word that seems to increase the level of abstractness. But, again, the guitars shine throughout, you just can’t get enough of it..

One thing to point out here, there’s a LOT of music on this release. Eleven tracks and, other than that intro thing, they’re all well developed. None much less than 5 minutes with some well over 7. You get lots of music here and they seem to like to go in different directions with individual tracks. When they’re that long, you can do a lot with them.

There’s variation between tracks as well. Most are of the harder variety but we do get an occasional ballad. No Sorrow is a lovely track, the vocal begins over a limited keyboard sound. But this band doesn’t seem comfortable working without some metal at some point, even in the ballad. The next few tracks return us to this frame of reference so don’t get comfortable with that beer in your hand to quickly. The Secret of Midnight actually provides some layering of the lead vocalist which is interesting. Again, I’d like to have heard more of this. They also provide some vocal from the male members of the band, you get a little of everything. And that eventually leads to the final track, an instrumental version of the track No Sorrow mentioned above. This one is, again, classically oriented, keyboard based and seems to package the work much as it began, with a truly lovely presentation.

Anthology has presented us with a truly unique release, one that covers a lot of bases and does so with both style and grace, and some overwhelming metal outside the two bookends. You’re gonna like Slovakian metal if this is a true interpretation. And, it promises to be a substantial ride.