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Mistral - Somnifer

Mistral
Somnifer
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 17 November 2020, 6:43 AM

MISTRAL is a Post Black Metal project from Warsaw, Poland. Currently consisting of two members. To date, they have a debut album and a number of demos under its belt. “Somnifer” is “a culmination of around a year of work done by two young and eager musicians. The songs you hear on it were made in connection with our emotions, repressed fears, guilt. The aim is to make the listener feel like someone understands the artist’s anguish.” The album contains seven tracks.

“Bloom” leads off the album, with tender but mysterious opening tones. Vocal shrieks come in as the track builds in intensity. For a moment, it sounds like Black Metal, but it is very expansive. The sound drops to just some atmospheric tones as we approach the half-way mark. Piano and clean vocals pick the song back up again, and it’s very pretty. Then, the original sounds return with vile screams. “Bound” is close to ten-minutes in length. Opening with soft and charming tones, it takes you to a different place in your mind. When the guitar riff drops, it’s both aggressive and pretty at the same time, similar to the band UNREQVITED. The sound drops again around the half-way mark, to just some alluring clean guitars.

“Heather” opens with a long build-in. It’s a full two minutes before we hear the guitar riff. It brings an energy to the song, that is laden with vocal screams, sounding like a tortured soul in hell, screaming for eternity. The riff begins to build, and then it wanes again. “Homecoming” opens with more of those light and airy tones. The main riff drops, and it has a despondent tone. The torture screams have become a staple on the album at this point. Once again, it builds and wanes, in a similar pattern to other tracks. When the full sound returns, it’s hauntingly beautiful.

“Indigo” is just over five-minutes in length. It has a rich sound out of the gates, but a despondent yearning that just tugs at your soul. The sounds drops again around the half-way mark, but only for a brief moment before it gets going again. “Inert” begins with clean, ambient guitar, bass, and drum work, in a moment of subdued beauty, with some clean vocals in the background. Then, the riff hits and it’s chaotic. From there, it settles a bit, with slower guitar work and some melodies. That familiar pattern of waxing and waning returns.

“Wither” closes the album, beginning with a thick Black Metal sound. It continues throughout the song, but with some melodies as well. Like UNREQVITED, MISTRAL does a pretty good job of balancing that anger with tender moments. Since the screams are ever-present, you can certainly connect with that side of the album quite easily. But I prefer the softer, more memorable moments of the album. The repeating of the waxing and waning on almost every track can get a bit repetitive, but overall it’s a good album in the genre of Post-Black Metal. If they duo can figure out a way to add in some different elements, they would really be onto something here. But, it’s a good first effort.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Bloom
2. Bound
3. Heather
4. Homecoming
5. Indigo
6. Inert
7. Wither
Lineup:
Jan – Guitars, Vocals, Mix
Mikołaj – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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