Band: Barbarian Prophecies
Label: Base Record Productions/ Hecatombe Records
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: 26 March, 2018
Death metal is one of my favorite genres of metal, but there is no denying it is an oversaturated market. It can be difficult to sift through the rubble to find a hidden gem that you will not only enjoy, but return to throughout the year. Luckily for me, Barbarian Prophecies was placed right in my lap for me. Barbarian Prophecies are a Spanish death metal band that mix in some elements of thrash, black metal and even some prog. A tall order for some, but Barbarian Prophecies pull it off in impressive fashion on their fourth full length “Origin”.
The album begins with a sinister atmosphere on the track “Multiple” that leads right into a heavy plodding riff, but as the title suggests there are multiple sections to this song. When the brutal yet beautiful (brutiful?) vocalist, Alicia, kicks in you know you are in for a sonic assault.This is the perfect intro track because it sets the tone early and honestly. There are several layers and influences on each track, but they are blended very smoothly. Barbarian Prophecies have a great understanding of both melody and composition that really shines throughout the entire album.
The next track i would like to highlight is “Reincarnation”. This track kicks off with a rumbling bass line that, along with the drums, shook me deep in my chest. This is where the thrash influence takes center stage. This track goes 100 MPH for most of the track, only giving you a breather with a lovely jazzy section. This jazz interlude is almost immediately interrupted by one of the many blistering solos that populate this record.
The final song I’d like to highlight is what I consider to be the best song on “Origin”. “Path of the Soul” is a six-minute epic track from start to finish. It begins with an airy, atmospheric vibe and explodes into a cleansing guitar solo. The song evolves into a black metal riff followed by Alicia’s most powerful shriek on the entire record. This song was a change from the normal onslaught that Barbarian Prophecies brings. This song still packs an extremely heavy punch, don’t get me wrong. This song just felt like it had more of an emotional weight attached to it that I both appreciated and connected with.
There are a lot of things to love about this album. The diversity of riffs throughout is phenomenal. Each track has its own soul to it, they don’t bleed together and feel regurgitated. The pacing is another thing that Barbarian Prophecies pulled off very well. This is a twelve track death metal album that never dragged or felt like a chore to get through. The average song length was around 5 minutes per track, and each song was surprisingly dense with material. The instrumentation from each member is extremely fun to listen to and dissect upon multiple listens, this is a rewarding album.
Now for what I considered to be the hardest part of this review, the negatives. I honestly don’t have many poor things to say about this album other than personal nitpicks. The first of those being the tone or the volume of the bass. The production on this album is stellar, but I feel the bass is too buried in the mix and I struggle with hearing it other than on a few songs. My second and final negative comes from the lack of vocal diversity. Alicia is an incredibly powerful vocalist, but I felt like I was left wanting more from her. Her shriek on “Path of the Soul” was haunting, and I’d just like a little more of stuff like that from her.
If you are in the market for some energetic and eclectic death metal, “Origin” by Barbarian Prophecies will absolutely satisfy you. This is a fun and impressive fourth outing from the Spaniards, and in my opinion their best work to date. This is definitely an album I will continue to explore and appreciate throughout the year.
2. The Visitor
3. Beyond the Threshold
5. Path of the Soul
6. Architects of the Unknown
8. Fourth Dimension
9. KOMM SU£ER TOD
11. Embrace of Insanity XVII
12. Remember the Fallen XVII
Total Playing Time: 1:02:33
I’m pretty great. Just ask me, I’ll tell ya.