Symphony X bassist Mike LePond is one hell of a busy man. Not only does he provide the punchy rhythmic foundation of Symphony X’s exquisite prog metal but his own solo project, Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins, are also gearing up for a new album release, titled Pawn And Prophecy!
Due for release on January 26th – via the now ubiquitous Frontiers Music – this high octane blast of classic metal provides exactly the kind of punch you’d expect from a band of this pedigree. With Watchtower‘s Alan Tecchio on vocals you’re always going to be in safe hands and the results of this union, as expected, are uniformly stunning.
These songs are huge, in scope and in execution, and Pawn and Prophecy is the kind of album custom-built to please fans of 80’s metal and fans of Savatage, Metal Church, Exciter, Iced Earth, Symphony X (of course) and Germanic speed metal. In fact, the majority of the tracks on Pawn and Prophecy do not fuck around, putting the pedal to the metal from the get-go and providing plenty of satisfying metallic crunch. In particular, “Black Legend” and “Avengers Of Eden” shove speed metal riffs down your throat at an astonishing rate.
Mike LePond has even roped in his Symphony X bandmates Michael Romeo and Michael Pinella to guest on the 21 minute epic title track. Based on Macbeth, it’s as gloriously over the top as you’d expect, with Mike delivering an outstanding bass-only intro before this monster of a song goes full folk on your ass and stands toe-to-toe with Shakespeare’s masterwork. Theatrical, absorbing and utterly brilliant, you will not forget this closing track in a hurry!
Pawn And Prophecy is simply an outstanding start to 2018! 8/10