|Review: False Prophet - Second Death|
Label: Blood Harvest
Year released: 2014
Originally released in: 1989
Review online: May 19, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 4.14/5 (82.86%) (7 Votes)
Starting out as a Thrash Metal band in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1988, False Prophet released an EP, Sign of the Cross, but soon began incorporating more Death Metal elements, especially vocals, on their debut full-length, Second Death. The band name was changed to Infernal Hierarchy and a single was released then the band called it quits. 2014 sees False Prophet active once again and Blood Harvest Records has packaged up all their songs, including the Infernal Hierarchy single and two originals from a four-song live EP recorded in 1990, into one deluxe double-vinyl reissue of Second Death.
The music is late 80s, viciously fast Thrash with easily decipherable yet hellish vocals, except for the four tracks originally on Sign of the Cross, which feature a more traditional Thrash Metal vocal style. I can't say I hear anything I haven't already heard from bands like Possessed, Vio-lence, Kreator and the like, but that shouldn't deter anyone from checking out Second Death. The playing, especially on the first five tracks (not counting the tedious intro), is excellent and highlights a time when Death Metal was still based on melodic Thrash and not just speed and belching vocals. What does separate False Prophet from the other bands that were around at the time is the length of some of their songs. "Second Death" and "In Satan's Name" both clock in at over 10 minutes and, to False Prophet's credit, never get boring. They keep up a constant change of pace; from slow, brooding riffs to almost blast-beat speeds and that keeps these songs interesting. I understand why this reissue opens with songs originally released on Second Death, as they are the best sounding, but they are followed with The Sign of the Cross tracks, which were recorded prior and sound quite different, vocally. That wouldn't be so bad, but then we're back into the Death Metal with the Infernal Hierarchy songs and finally the live tracks, the recording of which is thin, as you might expect. The album's flow suffers a bit because of this, but by creating a playlist or programming the CD player, you can better hear False Prophet's chronological progression.
Second Death doesn't push the boundaries much but is still quality metal that fans of early Thrash and Death Metal shouldn't hesitate to check out. And, if you are a fan of False Prophet, this is your one stop shop for the all of the band's recorded material.
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