Boston’s Let Us Prey are a band who sound a lot like everyone else, without really sounding like anyone else. Ok, fine, they sound a lot like Nevermore, but also if they sounded more like Iced Earth, or later Strapping Young Lad/mid-period Devin Townsend Band, or even Dream Theater sometimes. Point is, if you like your thrash somewhat proggy and/or mildly power metal-tinged, then get in here!
The band describe their sound as “Dark Power Thrash”, which about covers it. Imagine mid-period Nevermore, with some Soilwork textures mixed in and you’re on the right track. The other variations derive mostly from Ross the Boss singer Marc Lopes whose delivery varies wildly across their debut album, Virtues of teh Vicious, from straight Warrel Dane worship to a spot-on Tim “Ripper” Owens impression before becoming very James LaBrie-esque during the album’s later moments, which ditch the melodic death metal tinge for more of a mid-period Dream Theater vibe, in the vein of think Train of Thought (2003) or Systematic Chaos (2007). Although he’s perhaps yet to find his own identity, the range (and quality) of Lopes’s imitations is truly impressive and is drawn together, across the record’s first half at least, by a delivery that, to my ear, is distinctly Devin Townsend, with some of his musical canvass’s more intense moments also reminding me of Strapping Young Lad’s SYL (2003) or The New Black (2006), without ever going of the rails nearly as much as either of those releases have a habit of doing.
The rest of the record follows suit, being built around a solid Nevermoreean foundation, while often branching out to bring in different flavours of mid-2000s prog metal. The record also features guest appearances from ex-Halford/Sebastian Bach guitarist “Metal” Mike Chlasiak, as well as Anthrax/ex-Shadows Fall axe man Jon Donais and late All That Remains shredder Oli Herbert, who each bring their own distinct style of guitar heroics to bear upon Let Us Prey;s already formidable boiling pot of progressive power thrash. That description might make it sound like they’re floundering about a bit, but its all tied tightly together and delivered with a consistently high level of quality. If you like any of the bands mentioned in this write-up , then don’t hesitate to give it a spin.