The Prophecy – Origins (Ascension Music)Friday, 15th September 2017
The same thought usually persists with U.K. “progressive” doom outfit The Prophecy: they should be given a lot more credit for carrying British doom than they do. Let’s not get into the scuttlebutt regarding the “Peaceville 3” and their divergent careers; all three (Anathema, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost) have veered off the course at one point or another. Or, if we’re discussing Anathema, off the course and never to come back again. But here’s been The Prophecy, churning out largely melancholic, introspective doom since 1999, with a few rather quite excellent albums to their credit (2007’s Revelations remains their best). Origins, their first since 2013’s Salvation, upholds the band’s unsung reputation.
Let’s be clear: this is not soul-scorching or earth-moving doom. There are no heavy boulder riffs nor obvious Sabbath odes. Rather, The Prophecy operate largely from the tender vocals of Matt Lawson, whose easy croon often logs a lot of miles, meaning, he’s doing a lot of singing during songs that are pretty long. While there may be some qualms with that approach (read: chop these suckers down and make several shorter songs out of them), The Prophecy generally don’t fall into the listless-song bog.
Origins is split between five songs bearing the “Origins” name, each having their own identity. Whether it’s the soft, strolling opener “Origins I,” the spacious, almost sparse “Origins II,” the punchy doom of “Origins III,” the death-drawls of “Origins IV” and lastly, the chord-rich “Origins V,” The Prophecy are somewhat of an a-la-cart doom band. They do many things rather well at the same time.
With doom further divided among competing styles, the toss-back is always to craftsmanship, of which The Prophecy has in spades. Chalk up Origins as another winner from the Brits, who, after all this time, couldn’t be more deserving of additional attention.