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The Mist - Phantasmagoria (Reissue) Award winner

The Mist
Phantasmagoria (Reissue)
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 25 March 2017, 9:41 AM

The history of the Brazilian Heavy Metal scene and bands is linked to two specific events: the release of first STRESS album in 1982 (the first Metal album of a Brazilian band released here), and the first version of Rock in Rio festival. The first showed that Metal could be a success here, and the latter brought countless legions of new fans to the scene. Since then, things improved a lot, but the second half of the 80s was a very hard time for us: the economy of the country was in shreds, crisis in many parts of society, and high costs of decent musical equipment. Bands arose, and bands fell into oblivion without releasing a simple Demo Tape. The only hope for bands was the independent record labels that would pay for the recordings and distribution. Some bands from those times were brilliant, with musical works beyond their own time. With former members from CHAKAL and MAYHEM (please, not the Norwegian band, but a Brazilian one with the same name), the legendary band THE MIST started its activities in 1986, and on 1988, released their first and classic album, “Phantasmagoria”, that is being reissued.

Today, for some fans, the album can be though og as out of date, but in those days, it was way different from those in the scene: not as brutal as SEPULTURA and others from the same city (Belo Horizonte, the nest of a great Metal scene back then), a bit more elaborated on the musical arrangements. The melodic lines of the band were truly non-conventional, bass guitar used very good arrangements, drums with a heavy and aggressive technique, excellent guitar riffs and solos, and particular vocals tunes used. The songs themselves brought a different insight, being many steps ahead of its own time. Maybe this is the reason for them not reaching the success they deserved. As all works done in the 80s in Brazil, the sound quality was done in mere 16 channel studio, and the production was done by Gauguin and the band itself.  Of course it can sound a bit “smoky” and dusty, but to reach such good sound in a time where we were only crawling and learning how to record a Metal album? It was fantastic!

The cover created by Kelson Frost (the same artist that created the infamous cover for SARCÓFAGO’s “Rotting”) is really enigmatic, different and with very good taste. Once more, they did something different, focusing on a horror theme, and not a satanic or political one. Imagine if you will a band using synths on a Thrash Metal album in those days. Yes, they realized it, having Henrique Portugal as a special guest (as you can hear in some parts of “Flying Saucers in the Sky”). There are no best moments, because “Phantasmagoria” is one of THE best moments if Brazilian Metal in the 80s.

“Flying Saucers in the Sky” with its aggressive and worked guitar riffs (and even some brilliant moments of bass guitar), the catching tempos from “Smiles, Tears and Chaos” (a great moment from bass and drums), the very good slow parts of “A Step into the Dark”, the excellent melodies of the guitars on “The Enemy” (along with very good aggressive vocals), the musical monster that they created and named “Phantasmagoria”, and the different musical arrangements of “Like a Bad Song” can show why their name earned a great respect from Metal fans and Metal press on those days. With the right conditions and funding, they could have overcome SEPULTURA itself with their music. Unfortunately, due to line-up changes (even Jairo Guedes, former SEPULTURA’s guitarist, entered on the band on the end of the 80s), their musical orientation of evolving from release to release, along with the economic crisis in the beginning of the 90s take their toll, and THE MIST ended after three albums and an EP.

But for now, buy your “Phantasmagoria” copy, and have a great time. But I ask from their labels (Greyhaze Records and Cogumelo Discos), the reissues from the EP “…Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust…” and the magnificent “Gottverlassen”. “The Hangman Tree” has a reissue as this one. It is perfect in a way that time can’t erode.

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Flying Saucers in the Sky
2. Smiles, Tears and Chaos
3. A Step into the Dark
4. The Enemy
5. Hate
6. Barbed Wire Land (At War)
7. Phantasmagoria
8. Lightning in the Dark (instrumental)
9. Like a Bad Song
10. Faces of Glass
Lineup:
Vladimir Korg - Vocals
Roberto “Beto” Lima - Guitars
Reinaldo “Cavalão” Bedran - Guitars
Marcelo Diaz - Bass, backing vocals
Christiano Salles - Drums, backing vocals
Record Label: Greyhaze Records
     


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Edited 08 February 2023
 

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