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Mefisto - Mefisto

Mefisto
Mefisto
by Jose MaCall at 30 January 2018, 12:43 PM

MEFISTO (I assume more Mephistopheles , not me-fisto) have produced a grand work of diabolical evil that takes a moment to unravel because it’s multifaceted and complex. The occult imagery on the cover would deceive one to overlook this gem thinking it was another of the mill screamin’-in-a-basement quality Black Metal release. This however, is anything but. A Black Metal ethos of independence and nonconformity permeates this release as it claims no loyalty to any specific genre. The end result is a series of atomic dirges fit for a dying world.

The first track, “Death Angel”, is filled with some mid-tempo old school Death Metal guitar riffs. It builds to a menacing chug that morphs and mutates into several neck-wrecking horn-worthy carries. Some great shredding happens at the four minute mark and it’s backed by the momentous onslaught of pounding riffs. The first track is a great harbinger for the genre-hopping madness that’s to come.

Lengthier tracks abound on this album as most of them are at about the 6 to 7 minutes range. Each song is a journey through various head-stomping riffs strewn about a chaotic battlefield of pounding bass, and rapid-fire drums. Several tracks feature cryptic intros (“Draconia”, “Mörker”, and “Kom Ta Min Hand”) that are disrupted by gloomy, hammering guitars. The grand feel songs are premiered with is consistently dismantled with the distorted rumbling of musical mayhem. Thrash-styled bouncing rhythms collide with sawing Death Metal distortions that slow to Doom-y crawls. Simply put, song composition on this album traces a line between the rudimentary, brutally efficient rampaging styles of Death Metal and early Black Metal while mixing in various subtleties that take this beyond just being old-school worship. The solo work, the bridges, the lengthier song structure that allows for room to experiment with chord patterns, it all culminates in something that’s greater than the sum of its parts. The songs are an intense patchwork of grinds and shredding. Tracks of this length could become boring, however the skill and constant flux of tempo keep things engaging. There are several nuances to be caught for the savvy listener; this is one of those albums where repeated plays will reward those paying attention.

For me the standout song was “Let Go Of Life”. It feels like a lost Melodic Death Metal song from the early 2000’s however the sensibilities in song structure are wiser now and it shows as the song takes a drastic change to the main riff about halfway through. The song continues to be in an impressive Melo-death style but it feels more frantic and discordant by the end. It’s a fantastic track that musically feels like it’s telling the story of its title.

A few other songs are also noteworthy for breaking the mold so to speak. “In Morte Victoria” is a somber, sobering track with spoken vocals that only sporadically turn into growling. The muted tone is kept throughout however there is some absolutely killer lead work. The closing track “Mefisto (Anno 1892)” is also an oddity in that it’s primarily an incantation in another tongue before being an outro to the album. It’s not necessarily a negative, as much as I don’t care for filler; the album is solid enough to let this one slide on by as “atmosphere.”

This is an album for veterans of Extreme Metal. It’s a nod to yesteryear but manages to sound fresh and uniquely its own. The wailing guitar work is a testament to a skilled axe man, which is backed by a filthy guillotine of a bass that executes a backing rhythm cleanly. The drums are a little… tinny? They are heavy on the cymbals and the crashing hits hard but some more ‘oomf’ on the lower end would have been welcome. In an underground project like this however, production isn’t what matters. This is about the music, which absolutely kicks ass.

For fans of: (Old)THE CROWN, ENTOMBED, CALLENISH CIRCLE, (“Black Earth” era) ARCH ENEMY, BATHORY, CELTIC FROST, and DISMEMBER

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Death Angel
2. I In The Sky
3. Morker, Kom Ta Min Hand
4. Let Go Of Life
5. Draconia
6. In Morte Victoria
7. Fatal Paradox
8. Mefisto (Anno 1892)
Lineup:
Morgan Myrhberg - Bass
Roberto "Thord" Granath - Drums
Omar Ahmed - Guitars and Vocals 
Record Label: GMR Music Group
     


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