Promethium is a chemical element with symbol Pm and atomic number 61....but you knew that right? Thankfully for metal aficionados, there is another Promethium – the Lancastrian five piece who have released their new concept album – ‘Faces of War’.
Promethium have a decade of destruction under their belt having released their first E.P 'The Revenge' in 2007. They followed this in 2009 with the release of EP ‘Tribute to the Fallen’ and again in 2010 with their first album ‘Welcome to the Institution’. They built on that foundation with their second album 'Origins' in 2013 and have been noisily working on the live circuit before this, their newest creation.
The band are difficult to compare but there are some early NWOBHM influences in the guitar work whilst the overall product has a more modern feel with the chops of Avenged Sevenfold and perhaps Trivium in the style and composition. The line up of Dan Lovett-Horn (Guitar), Steve Graham (Vocals), Rossi (Guitar/Vocals), Henry Greenwood (Bass/Vocals) and Kev Yates (Drums) are accomplished performers and work together well delivering a tight output with a degree of raw edge in the mix.
The album is concept in purpose and approaches the different perspectives of war. As you would imagine, this isn’t an album of feel-good tracks, instead it punches you and forces you to engage in the power and passion of the subject matter.
Opening track ‘Enemies of Fate’ begins with a bombastic assault of heavy riffs and double kick percussion. This isn’t break neck tempo but is unashamedly heavy. The vocals are clear and work alongside the gang vocal backing to create a powerful platform for this dark and foreboding subject matter. The line “death comes to us all” is as much a statement for the album’s concept as any.
Next up is ‘Declaration’ which continues the heavy approach and features a spoken bridge that leads to a tasteful solo – an approach that lifts the album across all its tracks. The rhythm section of the band is tight and the foundation for the guitars is always solid with fills and flourishes in all the right places.
‘P.O.W’ is a stand-out track on the album. Greenwood’s bass in the intro has the feel of Megadeth’s Ellefson in his earlier work and creates a moody, atmospheric introduction. The track is angry with the gang vocals again adding to the passion. Lovett-Horn and Rossi have written some excellent hooks in this one and the lyrics continue to build the consistent narrative of the album.
‘Shellshock’ takes an altogether different approach, slowing the pace with drums high in the mix alongside a cleaner guitar sound in the intro. This track gives the album depth as the structure tips from a fragile approach to full on shouted vocals. This creates an opportunity to lift the energy levels again as ‘20,21,15’ kicks in. Drafting the outstanding vocal dexterity of Massive Wagons’ very own Baz Mills on backing vocals– this is a special track. Whilst Mills is known for his range and power in delivery – he compliments Graham rather than taking over. A solid track.
Moving through ‘Turncoat’ and ‘Stolen Valour’ the band maintains the drive and vigour. These tracks are not break-neck, but continue the dark and hard-hitting recipe. Yates’ drum work is at its best on ‘Final Solution’ and provides richness to the overall product that ensures the album holds the attention as it moves to the final songs.
‘Kill on Demand’ has a more traditional thrash feel that Dave Mustaine would recognise, blending choppy riffs with a more melodic vocal delivery in the chorus. The lyric “calculated maniac” could be regarded topical given the current situation across the globe and evidences a knowledgeable song writing capability. Heavy stuff.
Closing track ‘Faces of War’ is a strong finish with NWOBHM influences that are delivered with twin guitar power chords and strong vocal performance. Again, the guitar solo is delivered tastefully with a Maiden-esque melody that supports the well-used gang vocal that is evident across the whole album.
This is a strong delivery with an entirely consistent approach that could be regarded as formulaic but for the use of tempo changes and strong musicianship across the entire band. There are progressive elements in the delivery but not at the expense of the band being true to themselves and their previous works. I would take the opportunity to see them live as they have genuine ability and talent and will work well in the wider arena with this new album under their belts.
‘Faces of War’ can be obtained at -
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Track Listing -
Enemies of Fate
Kill on Demand
Faces of War