Mystic Prophecy: The Killhammer Approaches

MysticProphecy_Band3_2013_360x400Mystic Prophecy has returned with Killhammer, their eighth magnum opus that is sure to enrapture heavy metal fanatics all around the world.  A powerhouse collection of tunes showing Mystic Prophecy at the very height of their creative prowess, Killhammer is a rock solid effort now available through Massacre Records!  Mystic Prophecy has only appeared in the States once thus far, at last year’s edition of ProgPowerUSA Festival in Atlanta.  Now on tour with Masterplan throughout Europe, front man R.D. Liapakis checked in with Highwire Daze to catch us up with all things relating to the mighty Mystic Prophecy.  Read on as the Killhammer approaches!!!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Mystic Prophecy, and how long the band has been together.
Hello and thank you so much for giving me the chance to speak about Mystic Prophecy and our new album Killhammer!!!
The band was founded in 2000 and since then we did 8 CD releases … I really don’t know that many bands to have accomplished such a thing in the last years…  We have so far survived many difficulties like line up changes, which made us realize that it ‘s very important for us to stay united … a band never depends on only one person … you have to work as a team, or else its gonna be difficult to keep it together … and through the years Mystic Prophecy has managed to get over all the hard times and member changes without losing their strength, integrity, and passion for making great music …
With Killhammer, we have come up with yet another great accomplishment, an album so powerful, yet versatile, that we enjoy every single moment of it, but the greatest thing for us is that our fans are enjoying it too, in fact so much that the album has entered the German charts this week, in 83rd place!!!  We are pretty confident that we have made an album full of power, passion, versatility, and certain elements that never existed before in our previous albums … Everything is going great so far, and we have to thank our fans for it, without them we would be nothing, we owe everything to them !!!

Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there.
The band is based in Germany, and we have created a significant fan base in the area, and in the near-by countries, like Austria, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium … as for the music scene, its very active, giving birth to lots of bands each year, but at the same time its very difficult to stand out and make a difference, you have to be very strong to survive …
Music business is not forgiving at all when it comes to mistakes, especially when not maintaining your identity, and not making good songs from a band that’s out in the market for such a long time … we have faithful fans all over the world, and they all expect an equally great album as the previous ones, if not better … so, the only thing we focused on for the last two years was making some really good new songs, to satisfy our audience who warmly support us for the last eleven years … and when you have results like the one we have with “Killhammer“, as well as all our previous albums, you realize that having a clear vision
and sticking to it, is the most important thing to keep …

How does Killhammer compare to the previous Mystic Prophecy albums?
Heaviness is the thing we wanted to accent even more, but, as for the melodic elements, they are equally strong as before, especially in the guitar overdubs. As in our previous albums we had some nice surprises to present, the same goes for Killhammer, we have a couple of aces up our sleeves, certain elements which, when you listen to it, you will understand the path we are walking into … We always try to avoid to stay musically in one place, we want to be able to move and evolve, in all aspects of our music, themes, lyrics, etc.

Is there any story or concept behind the title Killhammer?
No, its just the title track that has this concept, all the other songs are individually themed, but adequately coherent to make a strong and solid album.

Select two songs from Killhammer and what inspired the lyrics.
To Hell And Back is one of our favorite songs and it speaks about the never-ending torture of a broken existence … 300 in blood … this song is dedicated to the 300 Spartan heroes, who fought against an army of 250.000 Persians in Thermopylae … This bold move they made wasn’t so important from a strategic point of view, but a way to raise the nations morale, and no matter how outnumbered you are, you must not give up hope and let go without a fight … This heroic move gave the chance for the Greeks to win a big battle against the Persians, one year later in Plataea. The Spartans were very proud, brave and courageous people, forged in battle, trained from their childhood to become pure killing machines, with no fear of death …

MysticProphecy_Killhammer_CD_Cover_400x400Who did the cover art for Killhammer and how much input did you have on it?
Uwe Jarling is one of the best fantasy cover artists in the world … We know each other well, and when I was working on making Killhammer I thought that I will need someone to work on the front cover, who will understand exactly what I want …One plakativ cover, but with tons of details … I know its difficult … But not so difficult for Mr. Uwe Jarling, who knows how to bring the right message through his amazing work and genius … Also, credit must be given to Anestis Derz Goudas, for the amazing job he has done on the booklets of the album’s various formats.

What made you decide to cover Crazy Train and has Ozzy heard or commented on it yet?
If you listen to Crazy Train, you ll realize that we always try to cover a song in each album, but at the same time we try to make it have the Mystic Prophecy signature … Its not enough for us to simply duplicate a song we like, and then reproduce it identically as its original version … Using this song was by random choice, it really could have been any other of all the songs we like, we just saw that we could easily transform it into one of these great Mystic Prophecy covers, a fact that actually happened. And no, Ozzy doesn’t give a shit who plays his songs, as long the money is coming to him hahaha

When you look back on the early Mystic Prophecy recordings, what do you think of them now?
Looking back, 8 albums in 12 years, only makes me proud, we have been strong when other bands have blatantly failed, but I never think about yesterday, I always look to the future, and to what can make my vision and love for music even stronger…

How has the tour with Masterplan been going and what have been some of the highlights?
Right now we are in the middle of our European Tour, alongside Masterplan, and as we are traveling across Europe right now, we are happy to see that everybody is enjoying the new album as much as we do, and the response of the audiences everywhere is breathtaking … With Masterplan, we are proud to be part of an ideal tour package, we have an amazing time so far, and I’m pretty sure everything will turn out to be as successful as it was from the very beginning…

mysticmasterp_282x400What could one expect from a live Mystic Prophecy show?
Mystic Prophecy is a 100% live band, and all our songs are concert compatible… We always write songs that way, so we can easily play them on stage, if the songs are not like that, we simply don’t put them in our albums… In this tour with Masterplan, the fans can get to know Mystic Prophecy from an entirely different angle … We will have our own sound engineer, our own lighting engineer, and everything on stage will be top notch … in other words, we re kicking some serious ass on this tour!!!

Any strange or scary happenings from the road or at a show you could share?
On tour with Masterplan, October 5th, in Kerkrade, Holland, after our show in The Rock Temple, the bus where Jaded Heart and Sirens Cry were sleeping, was caught on fire … some electrical short-circuit in the wires … the bus was filled with poisonous fumes, while the guys were sleeping, near death of suffocation … thank God everybody is safe and OK!!

If Mystic Prophecy could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
In the last years we played alongside with great bands like Death Angel, Stratovarius, Symphony X, Pretty Maids, and many more, and it has been an amazing experience … I don’t know … Metallica or Slayer maybe??? hahaha, would be nice to raise some hell before them!!

Any chance of Mystic Prophecy making your way over to the States to do some shows and have you ever played over here before? If so, what was the experience like?
We played in Atlanta’s ProgPowerUSA Festival, in September 15th 2012 … it was a fucking great experience … from the people who organized it, to all the fans that were there, all was perfect … We would like to say a big Thank You to all that helped us make it happen …

Whats up next for Mystic Prophecy after the Masterplan tour?
Right now we are scheduling our future concerts for next year, everything will be announced in good time, and we really hope we’ll see you on the road in the near future …

Any messages for Mystic Prophecy fans here in the States?
I believe that everybody who knows Mystic Prophecy and watch the band’s career they know that we always show our best in every new album, actually better every time… for us, quality in songwriting and sound is absolutely crucial, and there ‘s not a chance that we let our fans down with any musical experiments… Killhammer has got balls, power, fast and mid-tempo songs , and, above all, amazing melodies… anything a metal fan needs to be happy…
We would love to come and play again in the States, you are such a fucking great audience!!!

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
Thank you so much for giving me the chance to speak about Killhammer, its an honor for us to share lots of interesting information about Mystic Prophecy and our new album to our fans through this interview, hope to see you soon in concert !!! – R.D. Liapakis

Mystic Prophecy is:
Roberto Dimitri Liapakis – Vocals
Markus Pohl – Guitar
Laki Ragazas – Guitar
Connie Andreszka – Bass
Tristan Maiwurm – Drums

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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