• 2.5/10
    JUNKYARD PROPHET - The Price - 2.5/10


Release Date: September 1, 2007

User Review
4/10 (1 vote)

This is a real cool album when you first take it in hand. Well done, guys, the picture of the famous WW monument with the American flag behind it and the print Parental Advisory – Explicit Lyrics make a great combination that is nothing less than mouthwatering. The rear shows a military cemetary. Also quite a statement. And on the inside, the booklet has a metallic look with bullet holes; so this seems to be a Thrash band, or maybe Hardcore? Then on one page you see a part of Jesus on the cross with drops of a red liquid on it. Maybe rather Black Metal? But, on the same page is a quote from the bible, so maybe a White Doom Metal band?

Well, nothing could be further from the truth. The four guys from Minneapolis, who have been around for almost a decade and claim to have (quote) “turned down major label offers” out of pure idealism to not water down their message and were (quote) “being named best unsigned band next to P.O.D.,” are indeed Christian, only they are definitely not Doom, actually not even Metal. What we have here is in fact a style that many thought dead and buried: Rap-core! Does anybody remember bands like Bad Brains, (early) Beastie Boys, Stuck Mojo? How about Rage Against The Machine? Sure. Except for a few bands with a total of no more than a handful of good albums, this was a rather unsuccessful style and intermezzo in hard music, for which most Metalheads are quite grateful. So that is what you have here, but to make things worse: Junkyard Prophet lean strongly towards the Rap, and less towards Core.

Musically, that probably already says it all. The guitar work is basic, with no interesting riffs at all, while at least the groove can make you tap your foot. And that it does on almost every single track, but whenever the frontman Mass Dogg –- the word singer is purposely avoided -– begins to bark out his Rap verses, all but the most open minded Metal fans will probably get plaque and pimples. Most don’t mind a bit of occasional Funk, Jazz, even Hip Hop in their Metal, but this just does not do unless you are a real hardcore Ice Cube or Eminem fan -– unfortunately, without the strong melodies of “Cleaning Out The Closet“ or “The Real Slim Shady.” And, then there is the aforementioned barking of the words, which makes it really difficult to understand. But, what good is a Rap song when you can’t even understand the words and the obviously so important message? Did it not begin as lower class protest music, where the words were the important part?

To give the band credit, some of the tracks are almost bearable: “Remember Me“ with its excerpts from Martin Luther King’s famous “Freedom“ speech has a good flow, Funky “Junkyard Rock“ and “Why“ are not too bad. Track nine, “Enemies Of The State,“ is actually okay and the only song recommended to listen to for a taste. And then, there is track eleven, “One Heart,“ which is a straight mediocre and oversweet AOR ballad as heavy as a recent Bryan Adams song, unnecessarily included a second time with a — surprise — Rap part in it. Apart from those, the rest is based solidly in Rappy waters, and that was not so highly interesting and original fifteen years ago, and still isn’t.

It was mentioned that the band did not want to accept any compromise when it comes to their message. Since this page and its content should be mainly about the music, this was kept for last. Metal fans can live with (pseudo)satanic bullshit, with sex and drugs lyrics, with right wing and left wing propaganda, or meaningless babble of any kind, so good lyrics are an asset, but by no means a necessity for success. Many do overlook words in favor of a strong song occasionally, and that would probably also be the case hear, especially since it is difficult to understand. But, the band has something to say as they have a strong political message, which is heavily leaning to conservative, and an even stronger religious one of Christianity, which is unfortunately of the preaching type. This tendency is even increased by the bonus disc, which contains nothing but over 30 minutes of dogma from the band’s drummer with no connection to the music whatsoever. What a waste of resources … That all could still be dropped in the “Freedom of Speech“ bin, was there not the last song on the album, “Tear ’em Down,“ where they are finally crossing the line towards open hostility and straight out threats of violence against everybody who does not believe as they do. In volatile times like today, this is absolutely unacceptable.

From a Metal fan’s perspective, this album deserves only one verdict: To be avoided.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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