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Mystic Circle - Mystic Circle Award winner

Mystic Circle
Mystic Circle
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 05 February 2022, 7:33 AM

During the second half of the 90’s, many Black Metal bands appeared and the world was taken by assault by countless names. Some became known names, and others, even with amazing works, weren’t recognized as they deserved, and fell back into nothingness. Music isn’t a fair work, and especially when dealing with the German Black Metal scene. One name of those days that’s back after some years in limbo is MYSTIC CIRCLE, with an amazing work called “Mystic Circle”.

The band released some great works as “Morgenröte - Der Schrei nach Finsternis” (1996), “Drachenblut” (1998) and “Damien” (2002), just to name a few. And here they’re following the same musical path of the past, a wise and well-balanced mix between 85% of Melodic Black Metal with 15% of Old School Death Metal touches (especially due some grunts and blast beats), full of energy and darkened ambiences, excellent musical arrangements and rhythmic variations, and a brutal energetic grasp. Some can say that this formula was already used, but in their hands is full of life and personality, and it’s not a sin to say that they’re in the same level of creativity of legendary names as CRADLE OF FILTH or DIMMU BORGIR on their days when they were becoming great.

The band brought Nils Lesser to produce “Mystic Circle” and it seems to be a wise choice. The sonority is amazing, darkened and allows the band to express their musical ideas in a perfect way, but it bears the aggressive and crude approach of an old titan of the genre. Maybe some beginners can be inspired to do things in such way because it’s really great. Combining aggressiveness and brutality with a massive set of melodic and darkened ambiences, “Mystic Circle” is really an amazing experience for the ears.

 “Belial is My Name” shows a fine combination between aggressiveness and melodies, with charming contrasts, and the diversity of vocals’ tunes is great, using harsh shrieks with some low tunes, “Seven Headed Dragon” shows again charming and excellent contrasts, with keyboards creating excellent ambiences in the middle of fast whirl willing rhythms of bass guitar and drums. On “Hell Demons Rising”, some melodic clean chords in the middle of the excellent technical work of the band are amazing, and what a storm of excellent guitar riffs. And “Letters from the Devil” shows that the use of some clean vocals and even female tunes (a feature that isn’t something new for the band) presented in a different way, especially on the slow and melodic moments.

“Darkness in Flames” is based on a charming work of the keyboards on the ambiences, and on grandiose Black/Death Metal appeal (due the fast and solid work on bass guitar and drums). And again excellent guitars arrangements filling the spaces during the rhythmic changes, and some unusual guitar solos are really welcome during the passage of “The Arrival of Baphomet”. The climatic “Curse of the Wolf Demon” presents excellent melodic and sinister landscaping ambiences, an especial feature of the band, again with excellent harsh excellent vocals. And “Satanic Mistress” follows a classic Melodic Black Metal trend, with contrasts between tempos and cold-chilling guitars on a storm of aggressiveness.

And the bonus track deserves praises: a darkened and personal version for the old hymn “Death Metal”, of the Death Metal pioneers of POSSESSED (pay attention to the improvements that the band did to the song, without destroying the original harmonic lines). If you’re a Black Metal addicted, or even a Metalhead that doesn’t care about labels, you must take the offering given by MYSTIC CYRCLE right now! “Mystic Circle” is really one of the best releases of this year.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Belial is My Name
2. Seven Headed Dragon
3. Hell Demons Rising
4. Letters from the Devil
5. Darkness in Flames
6. The Arrival of Baphomet
7. Curse of the Wolf Demon
8. Satanic Mistress
9. Death Metal
Graf von Beelzebub - Vocals, Bass, Guitars, Keyboards
Aaarrrgon - Drums, Guitars, Keyboards
Record Label: Atomic Fire Records


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