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Mystica - Orattorio

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 01 August 2019, 7:23 AM

The band was formed in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1992 by Rosen Kolev - Ventus (guitars) and Svetozar Karatanchev (vocals) under the original name AGONY. In 1995, the music company Joe Music released the album "1876", recorded in Graffitti Studio. The lyrics are based on poems by Bulgarian classics such as Ivan Vazov, Hristo Smirnenski and others. At the end of 1999, the band's composition was upgraded, and the name changed to MYSTICA.  In accordance with current musical trends, the group's compositions were defined into Progressive Metal style.

In 2003 a demo recording of the pilot song from the upcoming album titled "Cascade" was made. In the several years, the group went through changing musicians, but it did not stop creativity and active work on various projects. In 2013, the band with a brand new crew released the single "Missing Way" with the innovation of inclusion of female vocals and strong enrichment of the arrangements. By this date, the new members included Borislav Angelov - vocals, Maria-Magdalena Hristova - vocals, Stanislav Chokarski - bass and Victor Dishev - drums. Now they are back with a five-track EP titled “Orattorio.”

“I.M” leads off the album, with some great opening bass notes. The guitars come in and it reminds of DREAM THEATER somewhat. Overall, it has a darkness that permeates throughout, though the trade off from clean male to female vocals is nice, they can be just a little pitchy. “Reborn” is another darker song with crunchy guitars and a slower pace. The dual vocal harmonies are on point here. It’s not bad it just lacks some punch and accents. “Oratorio” is similar in sound and pacing as the previous tracks. Though the vocals are a little more emotional, they have to find a way to make the songs change throughout the album or it sounds stagnant. I like the piano notes, however, and the instrumental passage.

“Memories” opens slowly and with caution and atmosphere. Some lead guitar notes go well with the mysterious and suspenseful sound. Some meter shifts remind you that you are listening to Progressive music here. “Missing Way” closes the album, opening with alluring piano notes and poignant vocals. The guitars play nicely with the piano here but I wouldn’t mind some more musicianship. There are some stronger emotional elements here as well, especially when Tchorbadjiyska stretches into the upper ranges.

Overall, this was a difficult album to connect with, because many of the songs sounded the same. Darkness permeates the album, and a sense of foreboding doom. But it suffered mostly from what I call the “mid-temp blues.” In other words, the pacing didn’t change much throughout the album, thus creating a fairly bland listening experience. They have the talent to do so much more…and let’s hope they use it next time.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 6
Memorability: 4
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. I.M.
2. Reborn
3. Oratorio
4. Memories
5. Missing Way
Rosen Kolev – Guitars
Sonia Spasova – Keyboard
Stanislav Chokarski – Bass Guitars
Shultsi Petrov – Vokals
Dalia Tchorbadjiyska – Vocals
Hristomir Subchev – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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