I’m not really a Mystic Prophecy fan, but I do love Metal cover versions, so I took a punt on this, the bands 10th studio outing.
And the one thing that strikes me about this album, as it does with other similar albums, is the choice of songs the bands choose to cover. I really don’t understand why bands choose songs that can’t be improved on, or they do a standard note for note cover version.
The biggest culprit here is the opener, You Keep Me Hangin’ On, which was originally by The Supremes and covered very successfully later on by Kim Wilde. Bar some very good guitar work, it just sounds like the original… and it was the choice for the 1st single from the album…
Despite a tepid opener, there are some crackers on this album.
Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff, gets a high energy make-over and ok, it’s cheesier than a Swiss cheese factory, but it works, brilliantly. Once again, it’s the axe work that makes this shine, and maybe I should listen to some more of their original work.
The next tune is an interesting one, because Moonlight Shadow got all the attention on 1983’s Crises album (by Mike Oldfield), but I always preferred the Shadow On The Wall single, which featured Roger Chapman, from Family, on vocals. This cover is pretty safe, but I really like the vocals from R.D. Liapakis and again, the energy the band have injected into the song is impressive.
And ditto for Lenny Kravtiz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way. It’s a bit more Metal than the original, but MP have really nailed the songs groove and this one’s a real headbanger.
I’m Still Standing was never the best song in Elton John’s repertoire, and this version isn’t too bad and comes across like 80s Hair Metal with a pop edge.. but after this current play, it won’t be played again… Personally, I would have gone for The Bitch Is Back or maybe Bennie and the Jets.
And now one of my favourite songs of all time, Because The Night (by Patti Smith). This version actually comes across like a huge Bon Jovi anthem… it sounds nice and powerful, but it doesn’t have the bite of the original.
I don’t know a couple of songs on here. I’m not a Monster Magnet fan, and this song (Space Lord) won’t change that… and I have no idea who Tokyo are, and this self titled song again sounds like 80s Hair Metal meets NWOBHM, with a big fuck off chorus, and it’s actually pretty good.
I wasn’t expecting much from a cover of T-Rex’s Get It On, another of those songs that you won’t be able to better… the chorus is ok, but the rest of the song is a bit on the week side and I wouldn’t have included this, if the decision was mine.
Which leaves us with the final two numbers. Proud Mary, by Creedence Clearwater Revival and Billy Squier’s The Stroke.
The Creedence cover is again safe and uneventful, but obviously well executed… and I never liked the Billy Squier original, so the most positive thing I can say about it, is that it’s an improvement on the original.
Overall, it’s a fun listen. I can’t complain about the musicianship, vocals or production. Everything sounds immense. But I just wish bands would take a few more risks and not choose some of the more predictable songs. But I’ll give credit where it’s due, Mystic Prophecy have done that with a few of the numbers here, like Shadow On The Wall and they’ve breathed new life into Hot Stuff and Are You Gonna Go My Way.
Definitely worth checking out.