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Mephisto – Pentafixation Award winner

Mephisto
Pentafixation
by Daphne Minks Daly at 24 March 2021, 8:10 AM

Forefathers of the Cuban black metal scene, MEPHISTO were quite literally the first to label themselves a black metal band in Cuba. Blending classic nineties-style black metal with a multitude of genres, MEPHISTO's music is nothing short of monumental. The album contains a plethora of influences, such as melodic death, groove, and thrash metal. The brutality and impeccable musicianship move alongside symphonic overtures. The operatic performances are nothing short of jaw-dropping. MEPHISTO does a magnificent job of putting a unique sound together with razor-sharp precision.

The album opener, "Intro (Enter The Storm,)" is an absolute work of art. So much so that I listened to it twice. This cinematic soundtrack is merely a precursor to what comes next. "Storming War Anthems," the album's second track, is a phenomenally heavy tune with excellent guttural vocals, plenty of change-ups, and even a bit of thrashy groove. It's a perfect example of masterful songwriting.

The title track, "Pentafixation," has an entirely different tone, taking on power metal elements with grandiose change-ups and a bold chant-along. This will undoubtedly be a no-miss show once live music returns. MEPHISTO melds their talents to create a complex tune with well-executed, unexpected style changes.

"The Birth," the fourth song on the album, is a wealth of hidden nuances. The background vocals are divine, and the hammering guitars only add to the hauntingly orchestral mix. Roller coaster drops and sick basslines make this a complex and unbelievably enjoyable experience. So good, in fact, that I removed my headphones and cranked the song up for a bigger sound.

"The Falling," track six brings another unexpected change-up in the flow of "Pentafixation." Emotive strings offer a foreboding feeling of impending doom that prepares the listener for the harsh, growling vocals soon to follow. Furnishing commanding drum work, the song's orchestration is impressive. "From Hobbiton Toward the Mountains of Gorgoroth" is the ninth track on this phenomenal album, and it does not disappoint. Although relentlessly black from the very start, it's tough not to catch a little bit of folk or power metal influences in the mix. A fabulously epic journey, the name of this song is perfect.

Without a doubt, "The Last Battle," is this reviewer's favorite track. Immediately, the listener is transported through the halls of hell to embark on a ruthlessly nightmarish trip of a well-combined mixture of symphonic black metal coupled with doom metal undertones. With excellent guitar work, sick basslines, and impeccable drumming, the song's vocals never become overloaded or stale. "Pentafixation" is a long album. But each of its thirteen tracks are well worth the time. Power-packed and chock full of blackened grooves, MEPHISTO is a diverse band that's sure to keep audiences captivated.

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

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Intro (Enter the Storm)
2.  Storming War Anthems
3.  Pentafixion
4.  The Birth
5.  Rebellion
6.  The Falling
7.  Curse of the Pharaoh
8.  The Mighty Ring
9.  From Hobbiton toward the Mountains of Gorgoroth
10. The Last Battle
11. The Undivine Blessing
12. Yavhe Sabbaoth (King of Nobody)
13. Burning Fantoft
Lineup:
Osney Cardoso - Vocals
Alex Jorge Mole - Bass
Fabian Gonzalez - Guitar/Backing Vocals
Kevin Chaperon - Guitar/Backing Vocals
David Nieves - Drums
Record Label: WormHoleDeath Records
     


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Edited 16 June 2021
 

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