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Mysticum - Planet Satan

Planet Satan
by Daniel Fox at 26 November 2014, 12:51 AM

Until now, ‘Industrial Black Metal’ and the name MYSTICUM were whispers that barely crossed my mind, until now; 2014, as it were for many other bands, marks a comeback for the Norwegian trio, who’s last (and first) full-length album, “In the Streams of Inferno”, was released in 1996. “Planet Satan”, in the making for over a decade, features the band rebirthed. That being said, I’m not certain that ‘rebirth’ carries the appropriate connotations for this particular release.

For starters, allow me to vaguely, generally (and possibly, ignorantly) define the music as Black Metal without a human drummer; add a drum machine, and a myriad of horrifying and claustrophobic atmospherics (or rather, thrown in rather haphazardly) to grating, raw, Black Metal riffage and vocals. Nevertheless, I implore you to not judge a band by its genre; I have tried my best not to, which is why I can proclaim that, while I personally cannot stand the music on this album, in the context of the band’s rather loyal fanbase, “Planet Satan” is work they should be proud of.

The music on this album is about drugs, evil, the cosmos, and of course, Satan. It might be worth pondering the relationships between them, and I feel that this album is musically attempting to make the connection, because from start to finish, I feel assaulted by all four. “LSD”; the title may as well say it all, but it would feel like a typical Black Metal track, had it not been for the ostentatious drenching of synthesizer effects. If you love a little trip in your (albeit mechanical) drum beats, give it a blast. “Annihilation” I actually thoroughly enjoyed, though mostly it is perhaps the one track on the album closest to Black Metal as I know and love it; I was even able to ignore the obviously-artificial kick-drum for a few seconds.

The album only gets stranger from here on in. Bizarre, walls of sound do not come close to describing what I am hearing; it’s almost as if the drum machine is put to the forefront in some pieces (“Fist of Satan”, “Cosmic Gun”). At this point, I can’t tell if everything sounds the same, or if the tracks really are differentiated; subtly or markedly. Confusion; yes, that aptly describes what I’m feeling; is the music confused? That’s not up to me to decide; the band knows what they have created; they spent over a decade on it. There must be a method to their madness.

This album is intriguing. I don’t get it, I cannot access it, but that does not mean it is by any means boring or awful, which is exactly why it is intriguing. I have a feeling that fans with an affinity for the band and this kind of music will fall in love with it.

3 Star Rating

1. LSD
2. Annihilation
3. Far
4. The Ether
5. Fist Of Satan
6. All Must End
7. Cosmic Gun
8. Dissolve Into Impiety
Dr. Best - Bass, Programming
Prime Evil - Vocals, Guitars
Cerastes - Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Peaceville Records


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