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Mysterizer – Invisible Enemy

Mysterizer
Invisible Enemy
by Rachel Montgomery at 24 September 2019, 11:50 PM

MYSTERIZER is a Finnish Melodic Metal band releasing their first album in 2019 after a four track EP in 2018. For a newer band, their sound is much older on this album, reminding me of 1980s American Power Metal. That said, the band has some amazing technical prowess. While the style is standard by today’s standards, they play it well.

The album opens with some standard, traditional Power Metal. The song “Take and Go” is a punchy number that sticks closely to the roots of Power Metal: high-pitched guitars, speeding drum and bass lines and clear, opera-style vocals that soar through the song. There are no bells and whistles here. Little, if any, symphonics are employed. I dislike the falsetto before the guitar solo. If falsetto is used, I believe it should be brief, or most of the time, it sounds too pitchy.

The opening riff in “Trails of Blood” is a style I fall for: a slower, staccato, more restrained guitar line with a thrashing bass line behind it. It’s a beautiful opening, leading into some soaring vocals. Here, the vocalist is grittier than the genre’s traditional, clear operatic style. I enjoyed the speed-ups and slowdowns through the song, they were noticeable, but not sudden, sticking with the traditional Power Metal vibe while keeping the music interesting.

Angel of Mercy” starts with a drum roll and leads into soft vocals. It doesn’t ramp up until halfway through the first verse, giving the song a level of ominous suspense. The band employs a few melody changes, including a time change, that keep the song moving. Usually, a song like this would be placed later in the album, either as the fifth track or the closer, to break up the more standard, consistently fast or hard songs. The chorus at the end is also an interesting touch, giving the song a stronger conclusion.

The falsetto in “No Return” is grating! His vocals are alright otherwise, and the instrumentals are beautiful. However, the falsetto makes my ears bleed. Falsetto is usually used in absence of a strong or high upper range, but only in small doses. Having an entire chorus of a screeching, high vocals dampers the song, especially since it’s so nice otherwise. “Just Wait” sticks to a lower register throughout the song, but the instrumentals are more standard; there’s not much to write about that song, but the vocals are infinitely better.

The Dead Man’s Hand” rockets right into the chorus. I can see this being a fun song at a live show, complete with call-and-response and pumped instrumentals and vocals. The echoing elements near the end were particularly interesting.

Beyond the Masquerade” begins with a building bass line before the intro kicks in with hissing guitars and screeching vocals. The riffs have bite to them through the verses and the echoing chorus ups the intensity of this song. Other than that, like the rest of the album, the song is very traditional.

Splitting the Darkness” begins with a lovely guitar line with ambiance of crashing waves. As thunder rolls in behind the continuing, wonderful guitar melody. While this song is short, acoustics and sea ambiance only, it showcases the guitarist’s talent well and serves as a nice break from the more traditional, monotonous Power Metal songs.

Two Lives” has a strong riff in the beginning which dissolves when the vocals begin into Speed and Thrash motifs. I’m not a fan of the choir elements of the song; it seems like they’re masking the falsetto and that distracts from the intensity the choral elements usually bring. The strong riff is back for the guitar solo, as well as some wonderful Thrash elements. Most of the guitar solos here were nothing to write home about, but this one was notable for good sweeps and talented technique.

Fire with Fire” starts with a taste of the chorus before going into the song. The beat is a nice bop, but the rest of the song is not noteworthy, and the vocalist sounds like he has a cold in his lower register. It’s a fine song, but it has elements in it that need work.

Invisible Enemy” begins by showcasing the vocals. While they’re clear for the most part, there’s distortion that I don’t think works in a slower melody, and with little instrumentation, that sticks out for the first part of the song. Even when the instrumentals pick up, there’s a heavy emphasis on the vocals, sung in a style that requires clarity. The singer mostly delivers, but there are distorted parts that don’t fit with the style. As the song increases in intensity, it gets better, especially with the instrumentation.

Overall, it’s a traditional Power Metal album. There’s not much that hasn’t been done before, or is terribly noteworthy, with the exception of a couple songs. The band members are talented and can play their instruments well. I would suggest the singer work on his voice more, particularly his upper register, and use falsetto less. However, I can tell he does vocal training based on the techniques he employs in his slower songs. Flaws aside, it’s a great band, and if you like simple Power Metal without a lot of bells and whistles, this is a band for you.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Take and Go
2. Trail of Blood
3. Angel of Mercy
4. No return
5. Just Wait
6. The Dead Man’s Hand
7. Beyond the Masquerade
8. Splitting the Darkness
9. Two Lives
10. Fire with Fire
11. Invisible Enemy
Lineup:
Tomi Kurtti – Vocals
Mike Hammer – Guitars
Janne Marjamaa – Guitars
Jari Alakoski – Bass
Pasi Niskala – Drums
Record Label: Inverse Records
     


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