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Mefisto - Octagram

by Joseph Hausmann at 18 January 2020, 5:31 PM

Formed in 1984 in Stockholm Sweden, MEFISTO has gained a cult like following throughout the decades. When their music was first released, it was a little bit too early for this extreme form of metal. They were one of the groups that helped influence the early formation of Black and Death metal in Europe. While lesser known than some of their counterparts, MEFISTO still had an impactful role in the early formation of the genre. After their first couple of EPs, the band disbanded for a bit before returning with a new direction for their sound. Their now Blackened Death metal sound helped make them a fixture in the underground of the metal community in Sweden. That revision of sound is still heard through their latest album “Octagram” that released December 5th of 2019 through GMR Music Group. They are still savage, extremely dark, and a powerful force.

“Octogram” is the title track of the album that really sets the tone for the album. The first couple of minutes are crushing riffs that abruptly turns to more of a melodic dark tone. The vocals come in soft but no less menacing before they build up to the full potential. The bass work on this track and through the entire album is just brutal. The bass is tuned so low that I can only imagine that the strings are literally just swaying off the instrument! “Circulus Est Clasus” continues the heavy beat down. The vocals in this track are more prominent and powerful really giving the track a visceral feel. The guitars really open up in this song giving us a small sample of the talents that MEFISTO has created throughout their career. The riffs broaden throughout the track like black tendrils reaching for your soul. “The Cult Of Death” begins a softer tone that gives way to a great melodic guitar solo before diving back to the depths of Hell with eviscerating vocals. The focal point of this track is the instrumentals and the vocals are used more as a sinister layer. The bass has a riff that is emphasized later on in the track gives the song a transition into the heavier sounds later on. It also provides a foundation for some pretty good guitar work as well.

“Armageddon” begins with a quiet, clean guitar riff that abruptly explodes into full-fledged chaos. It’s very fitting given the name of the song. The vocal performance in this track is savage and gritty. The instrumentals in this track lend to that chaotic feel as they are all over the place but still fit within the melody of the song. There is a heavy breakdown midway that is impressive to hear. “Grand Demons At War” is the absolute head banger of this album. The track starts off with a heavy, driving riff that sets the pace of the track. It’s a brutal beatdown of the senses. About midway in the song, the driving rhythm abruptly slows down to dark, savage breakdown that is then sped up back into the main riff.

MEFISTO has presented the world with another dark album that really speaks to the darker side of our souls. There is not a whole of different elements in this album and there doesn’t need to be. “Octagram” is raw and dark the way it was intended to be. Sometimes that is exactly what we need in metal. A no frills, no gimmick approach. That’s what has made MEFISTO into the powerhouse that they are going on close to 40 years. I also enjoy the fact that they are not changing their sound as the metal community is changing. They don’t need to. There will always be a yearning for old school Black / Death Metal and MEFISTO will continue to be the ones manning the fort!

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Octagram
2. Circulus Est Clasus
3. The Cult Of Death
4. Armageddon
5. Grand Demons At War
6. Roots Ov Thy Soul
7. Alpha And Omega
8. Megalomania
Robban - Vocals
Mogge - Guitars
Tompa - Bass
Patte - Drums
Record Label: GMR Music Group


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Edited 04 February 2023

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