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Mystery Blue - Claws Of Steel (CD)

Mystery Blue
Claws Of Steel
by Grigoris Chronis at 21 April 2007, 1:42 PM

French metallers MYSTER BLUE is no 'fresh news'. They've been active since 1982(!), located in Strasbourg and dedicated to play in-your-face Heavy Metal with a certain 'portion' of Epic elements. The 80s era of the band includes two highly-acclaimed - in the ranks of 'underground' 80 Euro Metal fans - albums, Mystery Blue (1984, Axe Killer) and Circle Of Shame (1986, Dream). Plus, some support slots to the likes of bands like SAXON, DEF LEPPARD and MOTORHEAD (meaning, a helluva experience!). And then there was silence…
1996's reformation by founding member Frenzy Philippon - a pounding metalhead, judging from his 'raging fire' riffs - did feature quite a surprise. Original vocalist Michel Torres was now replaced by the female supremacy of Nathalie Geyer; further lineup changes included the enrolment of ex-ALTAR skinsman Vince Koehler and ex-TIME RIDERS bassist Dany Ohlmann. Road Show Productions released a - rather average, in my opinion - album in 1998, but it was 2003 and the power of Metal Slaves that arranged how this honest metalheads would like to sound. Tons of riffs, pounding drumming and sharp leads provided the ideal 'backing' for Nathalie to expose her singing. It seems, too, that appearances at Metal fests like Swordbrothers and Headbangers Open Air did receive good feedback.
To the point, now: with Rikki Mannhard handling the bass duties, MYSTERY BLUE will easily make you draw your own conclusions. As you will see from the CD cover itself, the band - even if fronded by a woman - does not play anything having to do with NIGHTWISH, LACUNA COIL etc. No moonlit skies, no dark colors, no smooth melodies. Claws Of Steel is sharp and pounding (again). With a production as solid as Painkiller in the faster songs and HAMMERFALL in lower parts(!), but - anyway - with a music that cuts like a knife, MYSTERY BLUE do represent again their likes. Meaning, Heavy Metal based on the 80s, full of fast forward tempos, dressed in countless razor riffs, filled with slight keys where needed and wrapped up in Nathalie's floating Metal voice (even if 'opera' exaggerating, at times…).
Who can recall the dominance of ZED YAGO and CHASTAIN (to come up with similar female-fronted bands) years ago? Who is thrilled by the 'metal' of PRIMAL FEAR and (current) VICIOUS RUMORTS in our days? You now know the rule, play along or deny access. As the intro denotes, it's time for Metal. And, even if not brilliant, MYSTERY BLUE's Metal proposal is surely good and entertaining to your 'classic' Metal needs.

3 Star Rating

The Twilight Zone
Claws Of Steel
Shades Of Death
Electric Power
Psycho City
Destructive Instinct
The Blade
Queen Of The Damned
Hidden World
Frenzy Philippon - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Nathalie Geyer - Vocals
Rikki Mannhard - Bass & Backing Vocals
Vince Koehler - Drums & Backing Vocals
Record Label: Mausoleum Records


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