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Mithridatic – Tetanos Mystique Award winner

Tetanos Mystique
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 09 September 2019, 4:49 AM

MITHRIDATIC is a Blackened Death Metal band from France.  The French extreme Metal scene is just freakin’ huge right now.  MITHRIDATIC is latest band to drop a bomb shell of an album onto the rest of the world, this time in the form of a powerfully raw representation of Blackened Death Metal, that sounds different from a lot of other bands at the moment.  The production is raw but powerful—everything can be heard clearly but still has a classic, dirty sound.  Guitou’s vocals are striking and he showcases a surprising range of abilities.  Throaty wails done in an almost spoken word cadence, Death growls, Blackened shrieks…this guy can do a lot and uses everything in his repertoire to belt the lyrics out.

It should come as no surprise but Kevin Paradis (from a ton of bands, including BENIGHTED, CONSTRUCT OF LETHE, and VIRULENT DEPRAVITY) performance is unique, challenging and really pulls you into the music.  He just has a certain way of, despite his intensity and fervor, creating interesting musical moments that keep you on edge—he is an extreme Metal drummer whose performance drips with as passion as it does brutality and darkness.   Despite how good this album is, and every person involved, without his drumming I don’t think this album would sound the same.

Guitarists Brosse and Sanchez plus bassist Remolow add up to one of the best three-pronged attacks I’ve heard this year in extreme Metal.  MITHRIDATIC have nailed how to be both Death and Black Metal—truly, they really get how to mix the two and that is in large part to these three.  Groove, speed, and even a bit of melody and technicality are brought together deftly and seamlessly to create an album full of head banging riffs that also contain enough depth to discover something new every time they are heard.

God’s Blindspot,” begins with, what I assume is someone hitting a bong but within eleven seconds into the track, the pummeling begins.  Neck destroying riffs and precise but devastating drums will make you bang your head and the vocals will make sure you are doing so to some dark, gritty music that needs to be turned up as loud as possible.   About a quarter of the way into the song, hypnotic riffs and explosive drums back up a solo that doesn’t seem like it has any reason to flow into the next section easily but the band pulls off their crazy ideas with ease.  The later half of the track sees the band dropping the hammer while depraved vocals pierce through the atmosphere—I am reminded now this album is as harrowing as it is entertaining.

Lotophagus” focuses on a heavy groove, vocals and guitar finding a rhythm that works and sticking with it about two minutes in.  Cryptic riffs and drumming that is nothing sort of darkly inspiring change the focus of the song from punching you in the face to stabbing you in the neck repeatedly. “The Night Torn From Herself,” is one of my favorites from the album, especially vocal wise. Guitou’s performance is crazy enough for me to wonder if he lost his voice recording these noises.  Two and half minutes into the song, and all the way to the end, is how Blackened Death Metal is done right—sick, fast, but with a continuing focus on brutality and interesting musical passages.

The title track, “Tetanos mystique,” sees the band firing on all cylinders, coming together as one to end the album on a goddamn explosive bang.  The interplay between the drums and guitar is a constant refreshing blast of blasphemous air and doesn’t allow for one second of breathing.  The riffs that start at 4:27 are just downright sinister.  These monster notes are a prelude to the last thirty-nine seconds that were so feverishly vehement, I had to rewind it many times because I could barely understand how violent it sounds. I have found MITHRIDATIC’s “Tetanos Mystique” to be a breath of fresh air in the Blackened Death sub-genre.  ANY fan of ANY type of extreme Metal should not miss out on this.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. God’s Blindspot
2. The Dead Mountain of Life
3. Lotophagus (Lotus Eaters Dream)
4. Le sevrage
5. The Night Torn From Herself
6. Toothless Bite
7. Phosphenes Aura
8. Tetanos Mystique
Guitou – Vocals
Alexandre Brosse – Guitars
Romain Sanchez – Guitars
Remolow – Bass
Kevin Paradis – Drums
Record Label: XenoKorp


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