Hailing from England, The Prophecy is not a band that I've acquainted myself with in the past, but if their previous output is anywhere up to par with the music on Salvation, I've really been missing out! Salvation is the fourth full-length observation from this English doom metal act, and while it primarily focuses on crafting melancholic soundscapes, the album deviates from doom metal conventions in enough ways to make for a fascinating listen. Borrowing elements from other genres and blending them into one coherent sound, Salvation is the work of truly gifted musicians and songwriters.
Salvation is a rather interesting album from a stylistic perspective, as it maintains a doomy and melancholic flair throughout its full duration, but doesn't quite sit right as a traditional doom metal release. The Prophecy borrows from alternative rock, death metal, and Fates Warning-inspired progressive metal in addition to more 'normal' sounding doom metal, and the result is an album that sounds fresh and inspired. Touches of bands like My Dying Bride (especially in their use of violin) or Confessor do appear throughout Salvation, but on the whole, this is a very unique effort.
Nearly all of the tracks here surpass the ten minute mark, so this is an album that will require some attention from its listener. I enjoyed this from first listen, however, and the band's contrast of light and heavy sections especially grabbed my attention. Not too dissimilar from Opeth, The Prophecy utilizes clean guitar sections and singing - sometimes for extended portions of time - and contrasts them with heavier doom riffs and powerful growling vocals. The Opeth comparison is not entirely valid, however, as the heavy portions always remain in doom metal territory rather than a death metal ditto. On the whole, though, the extended compositions and dispiriting atmospheres are likely to appeal to fans of more adventurous metal music. Everything from the funeral dirge opening in "Salvation" to the highly progressive "Redemption" is memorable and engaging, and it's in the songwriting department where The Prophecy perhaps shine the brightest.
There really aren't too many doom metal albums that manage to be as diverse as Salvation while still maintaining a consistent atmosphere, so I'll highly recommend this one to fans of the genre. An engaging and beautiful experience from start to finish, Salvation is an amazing record that marks one of the musical highlights of early 2013. Great work, gentlemen!