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Mr. Myst - We Will Rise

Mr. Myst
We Will Rise
by Kira Schlechter at 09 November 2019, 5:42 AM

Who would have thought Ostend, Belgium, of all places, would carry on the tradition of American glam metal? Formed in 2013, the band in question, MR. MYST, released their self-titled debut in 2017, with videos for the songs “Jack D,” “Jessica,” and “Red Light District.” The EP “Red Light District” followed in 2018 with the lead-off single “Stand Up.” Now comes their second full-length effort, “We Will Rise,” and it’s one that admittedly takes a bit to make an impact.

The piano-based, rather contemplative instrumental “From the Ashes” starts things off – an interesting and different beginning – before getting into the first official track, “Forever and a Day,” with its meaty and insistent groove. It’s your typical road-dog tale, delivering somewhat cliched lyrics with panache and snarl. Is it original? No, but it’s always great to hear straight-ahead back to basics hard rock/metal with no frills.

The first single, “We Will Rise,” boasts more of the adept, feedback-laden playing of Atticus and Kevain, but there are points in the mix of the verses when the vocals get a little lost, where the instruments are too loud and buries them – and this happens again with the next track, “Set Me Free.” It’s a cool song, it has a lot of cool ideas and effects and moods and is structured well, but it just needs something more, including sharper, more clever lyrics.

Mr. Myst redeems itself and hits a stride with the album’s second half, though. And they do it with, of all things, a cover of “The Look,” the poppy Roxette hit from 1989. In their hands, it becomes very punky and deadpan. They took the sheen off it and dirtied it up with lots of guitars and a badass bass solo. It’s really fun and totally unexpected. “Freak Like Me” is darker and grungier, with a great trade-off chorus alternating staccato and legato singing. It’s another bad-girl song – you want her, even though you should stay away – but the twist is, you know you’re just as bad (”I’ve got a sixth sense for freaks like me,” JSD sings).

“Backstab” is faster and thrashier, vocal harmonies adding depth, and it changes tempos midway in an interesting segue. There’s more excellent guitars here and the drumming is stellar, lots of beefy toms pounding along with the high-end snares. The last track, “2FU4U,” is what I wanted all record long, something clever and funny and suitably glam, and here it is. It’s a raunchy, laugh-out-loud story of the hot backstage woman who turns out to be nothing but a pain. The deadpan singing and the smoking bass line (and a vocorder too, for god’s sake) in the final section is awesome, and the ending is perfect. Go more in this direction and you’ve got it, guys.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. From the Ashes
2. Forever and a Day
3. We Will Rise
4. Set Me Free
5. The Look
6. Freak Like Me
7. Backstab
8. 2FU4U
Lineup:
JSD – Vocals
Atticus Myst – Guitar
Kevain – Guitar
Josha – Bass
Arthur – Drums
Record Label: Sleaszy Rider Records
     


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