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Mike LePond's Silent Assassins: Pawn And ...
Mike LePond's Silent Assassins - Pawn And Prophecy CD Album Review

Mike LePond's Silent Assassins: Pawn ...

Melodic/Heavy/Power Metal

It seems everywhere I turn in the heavy metal universe, I find Mike LePond. The Symphony X bass player was recently involved with American female-fronted melodic metal band Eynomia and their debut album Break Free, which I also reviewed last week. Lepond is almost becoming as ubiquitous as Frontiers Music go-to-guy, the multi-instrumentalist Alessandro Del Vecchio. Now Lepond returns with his second Silent Assassins' project, Pawn And Prophecy, also for the Frontiers Music label.

Mike LePond Photo

Mike LePond

Not unlike his first outing, Pawn And Prophecy strays little from LePond's musical roots: classic melodic heavy metal with dashes of power and progressive metal tossed in. Also, the album reunites him with vocalist Alan Tecchio (Hades, Seven Witches, Watchtower). While Tecchio has some versatility and range, as I said of the previous album, his vocals were my least favorite part of this album. He can be too gruff and too screamo for me. Nevertheless, Pawn And Prophecy provides for some interesting, if not expected, heavy power metal from LePond and company. Notable are the Viking influenced Masters Of The Hall, the riff rocking Black Legend, and the speed monster Hordes Of Fire. Alternatively, something lighter comes with folk and classical influenced guitar work of The Mulberry Tree, only to be shot in the foot by Tecchio screeching in parts.

But the true highlights of the album are two songs, I Am The Bull and Pawn And Prophecy. With the former, the entire song is arranged around LePond's bass line, which are both creative and dominant throughout. As for the title cut, it's a near 22 minute epic progressive metal opus based upon Shakespeare's MacBeth, which includes four lead vocalists and varied movements. One such movement is at the start, and it's Lepond's bass work before turning into some traditional power metal. At about the seven minute mark, the song drops down to delicate classical piano movement, which then returns to melodic metal once more. Just after the mid point there comes an intense solo from Symphony X guitarist Michael Romeo. This is soon followed by perhaps the most interesting movement: a rollicking rock n roll segue that has a swing music feel and a huge dash Hammond organ. Eventually, everything leads back to some basic melodic power metal for the finale. Without doubt Pawn And Prophecy is the signature song of the album, and an impressive composition from LePond.

Suffice to say, Mike Lepond and his Silent Assassins have scored another win with Pawn And Prophecy, another solid album of melodic, power and progressive, metal. Recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

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The Bottom Line

Suffice to say, Mike Lepond and his Silent Assassins have scored another win with Pawn And Prophecy, another solid album of melodic, power and progressive, metal. Recommended.

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