With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

Mayhem Virgins – Promethium May 6, 2020

Filed under: Mayhem Virgins — justwilliam1959 @ 6:14 am
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The last Mayhem Virgins post was back in November, so it’s about time for another one I reckon. To refresh your memory the Mayhem Virgins series, which began in November 2017, only covers artists that I have never mentioned or featured before. This is the seventh recipient of the Mayhem Virgins title and it is the turn of Promethium, a five-piece metal band from Lancaster, Lancashire in England. Promethium have been on a slow but always upward trajectory since forming more than ten years ago in 2007. They released their fourth album last year, ‘Revisions’, an acoustic take on some of the best songs from their earlier albums; ‘Welcome To The Institution’ (2010), ‘Origins’ (2013) and ‘Faces Of War’ (2018). Their influences range from across the hard rock and metal spectrum from Black Sabbath to Metallica via Anthrax and Slayer with a little Pantera thrown in. But do not be fooled into thinking they are copyists, Promethium are definitely very much a magnificent metal band in their own right.

‘Welcome To The Institution’ clearly laid out the Promethium metal manifesto and showed that they had far more depth than “just another metal band”. “Visions” has the power to blow up a planet with its huge pulsating riffs courtesy of Dan and Rossi. In fact, the whole album exudes immense power, but Promethium also show their slightly softer side on opening track “Distant Illusion”. Meanwhile “33.1” starts out sounding like a very dark 80s power ballad before moving immaculately into early Linkin Park territory. This was an incredibly confident and mature debut album and their sophomore release needed to be pretty special after the powerful statement of intent made by that first release. ‘Origins’ was very special too, “Won’t Break Me” pushes the riffometer up to eleven and shows just how important their rhythm section is with drums being attacked with the force of Mjolnir and body-shaking bass playing. The vocals are up by another notch from an excellent performance on the first album, especially so on “Rain” and “Gunslinger”. Once again the band show their more mellow side with album closer and title track “Origins”. It is nice to hear a band step beyond their prime sound in this way. It is something that Led Zeppelin were always good at.

A band’s third album is often referred to as the “difficult” one. I don’t know if this is the case for Promethium, but it sure doesn’t sound like it. ‘Faces Of War’ sees the band stepping up to yet another level with what sounds to me like a concept album about the futility and horror of war. This is a really tight band revelling in their talent and rocking like bastards. I heard a ghost of Iron Maiden in some of the tracks here. “Enemies Fate” kicks off the album in the hardest and heaviest way possible and it barely lets up for breath after that. This is an album that hits you with a tsunami-like force from start to finish and still leaves you feeling good at the end. “P.O.W” is probably my favourite track on this collection although “Shellshock” has a great hook and again takes a small sideward step away from their full-on metal assault in places. Their latest album is an acoustic rework of some of the best songs from their back catalogue and it showcases the strength of the songs as they work as perfectly in this softer acoustic setting as they do in the full band hard and heavy versions. Promethium have had some pretty tasty support slots in their career to date; Blaze Bayley, Diamondhead, We Are The Catalyst, and fellow Lancastrians Massive Wagons. They had big plans for 2020 with festival appearances and the recording of a new album. I am sure that the COVID-19 lockdown has put the brakes on this but hopefully, they can get moving on the new album soon and hit the festival fields in 2021. I have so far missed out on seeing them play live but I hope to rectify that as soon as it is possible post lockdown.

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