The Prophecy

Squealer

Metal Blade Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/14/2000

By my own standards, I should hate Squealer.

This four-piece Swedish metal band often shows signs of being a typical "import" metal band, and the song titles on their disc The Prophecy seem to hint at something sinister. When their vocals harmonize, it's not always the smoothest of transitions.

Yet I can't bring myself to hate these guys. I just can't. Maybe it's the way the group intertwines thrash drumming with more melodic music structure. Maybe it's the dare-to-be-pop sound some of the tracks have in the face of screaming guitar work. Maybe it's the sheer balls the group had to cover Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence". Whatever the case, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Prophecy is admittedly weak at times, but this group piques my interest, and suggests there is greatness in them there amplifiers.

The band - vocalist Henner, guitarist Lars Döring, bassist Tobias "Eggi" Exxel and guitarist Michael Schiel - plow through metal which dares the listener to categorize it in one distinct style. (Drums on the disc are handled by Martin Winter.) It's not strictly thrash metal, though Winter's drums do occasionally suggest that flavor of metal has touched the lips of the band members on occasion. It's not pop metal, though there is the occasional vibe in the song structures. It's not Viking metal... thank God. It's not demonic or spiritual metal.

Maybe what Squealer has done, in effect, is created their own unique genre that can neither be classified nor cloned. Songs such as "...But No One Cares," "To Die For (...Your Sins)," "Nowhere To Hide" (which blends in with the previous track incredibly well) and "Live Everyday" show the great potential that Squealer has.

Yet there is a tentativeness about their music which I just can't shake. It's almost as if they are still building up their confidence, and it wasn't quite near full throttle when they wrote and recorded The Prophecy. Still, there's enough I hear in this disc to suggest that this is only a hint of things to come.

The Prophecy is a disc which defies categorization... and may be a hit-or-miss effort with metal fans who might not know just what to do with this disc. It's worth picking up and checking out... but I'm more interested in seeing what is going to come next from this band.

Rating: B-

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© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Metal Blade Records, and is used for informational purposes only.