25.04.2006

  Psalm of the End (intro)
The Bloody Path of God
Doomsday Prophecy
Nine Plagues of Egypt
The Grim Reaper (intro)
The Grim Reaper
Riders of the Apocalypse
Hellborn
Church of Sacrifice
The Forgotten
Unholy Terror
Memento Mori (outro)
Circle of the Tyrants (CELTIC FROST cover; bonus track)

 


 

 


Graf von Beelzebub - vocals, bass guitar 
Ezpharess - guitar 
Necrodemon - drums





MYSTIC CIRCLE: "The Bloody Path of God

mystic circle            

 

Recorded at State of the Arts studio in Ludwigshafen, Germany with producer Alex Koch

"
Open the Gates of Hell
Interview with Ezpharess 2002
Mystic Circle live 2002
Damien

review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____    


When wrath and melody don't collide, they meet and merge into one, walking a  path together.

Walking the bloody path of god you will find  the excellent song Hellborn, you will find anger and melancholy, Old School  and new starting points. Walking The Bloody Path of God your esteem  will rise, your esteem towards an implacable drumming (again , and exceptionally for the recordings, by Necrodemon)  as well  as for dueling guitar and bass. The Bloody Path of God is paved with much Death, (meant as both Death metal  and absence of life)  while the Black Old School is very dominating and mixed with moments of unleashed Thrash and of deep  atmosphere. The re-introduction of keys is extremely balanced and  light years far from being  invasive. That certain Gothic touch  that was surfacing in Open the Gates of Hell seems having left  free place to more evil, mysterious  and evocative passages, in order to reinforce bonds  between Black and Death; while it's  now the clear  presence of  Thrash  the third main  musical ingredient.  Graf Von Beelzebub's vocals are screaming- oriented , although  there is always a growl  attitude united with  more elastic  and diversified techniques.  Mystic Circle are now able to inquire their  roots, to accomplish  the purpose to re-discover themselves, maintaining a peculiar image and a statuary size in the extreme metal. This is to say , this German band was, is  and will remain one of the best proposals in puncto Black/Death, and, when they let their feelings flow, by  approaching a more melodic sensibility,  they create super songs like Hellborn and Church of Sacrifice  (tracks number 7 and 8 of this new album) . Great solid  opus,  wiser, mature, so is this seventh full length. Yes, even more than  the previous Damien and Open the Gates of Hell,  this new album   appears to be  mature, reliable. It's a path back to the Old school roots nonetheless with a remarkable sense of wisdom  and reflection. Not commercial yet very appealing to extreme metalheads;  just listen to it a couple of times and you already realize, how  much energetic  their Satanic Black Metal can be when translated into a gloomy language.   Another album  where music  and instrumental skillfulness are the protagonists, well underlined by Alex Koch (Necrodemon)'s good production. Desolate extinction in the cover art too,  dominated by a Jesus Christ  in state of advanced death and with the nails properly piercing  the wrists.

Personally i think that the Bloody Path of God is clustered around the topic "death" and "wrath": of course,  this influences a lot the musical mood. Just consider  both the menacing spoken intro  and the outro , with its acoustic arpeggio, melodic and sorrowful, short yet distinctive. Consider  their titles "Psalm of the End" and "Memento Mori".

The scary lyrics of  Psalm of the End are clearly taken  from The Book of Revelation , the Apocalypse,  written in Patmos by John  the Evangelist, during the reign of Emperor Domitian.

"And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder...

...And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was DEATH, and HELL followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth"

But now i would dedicate a special mention to Hellborn. This song is a 4-minute lasting grenade of pure pleasure made of  brutal  and hyperheavy staccato riffs which remain  always melodic and harmonic , and guest a  central  melodic acoustic harmonic breakdown, based on the refrain pattern. Hellborn is neckbreaker and  anthemic,, has to become a must  in MC's setlists. It unleashes hate but also sorrow in order to tightening up and relaxing then  spirals of emotions. I like  to visualize this song when playing the CD in my computer with Mocha Bene plug in for Winamp, choosing the Vave Radar graphic, that  emphasizes the apparition of wave strands of different length during the acoustic passage, and the bass strong tunes. The fast softened piercing kick drumming is  perfect counterweight for the slower moments and of course perfectly synchronized with  the faster ones. 

After  the intro, immediately the album unleashes  the wrath through  the titletrack The Bloody Path of God, raw, oppressive, with a decent carpet of keys in the background that  increase the anguish  in cooperation with the evil vocals. . Acoustic intro  for the cadenced and asphyxiating Doomsday Prophecy . Both songs have the title pronounced in simple yet vicious repetition of few evil chords, chords that  makes contrasts with the well varied and intense construction of the songs.  Nine Plagues of Egypt is driven by an implacable mix of Thrash and Melodic Death. On the other  hand, with Nine Plagues of Egypt takes also  shape the direction  towards Old School Black, together with an amount of American flavor. The ten  Plagues of Egypt become nine, is this by excluding the first-born death? The Grim Reaper  (death again!) offers a great guitar versatility with more modern tendencies.  In Riders of Apocalypse , Old School is combined with Melodic Death and, in this case,  versatility of vocals, with an impressive diabolical , satanic almost evocative slowdown. On the contrary, the title Church of Sacrifice immediately suggests to me the vision of the "sacrificial heart". When you renounce to what  you consider heart and material possession, you are a step closer to immortality? Impressive use and master  of guitars here too, a place full of anger that rocks literally yet remains evil and anchored to the continental Black and melodic Death. Another killer, another neckbraker, a door to the Flame.

The Forgotten is caustic , visionary and imaginary, sour, again with a great  melodic almost  funereal acoustic intervallo soon reinforced by a sorrowful instrumental ensemble.  Unholy Terror is so near  to completely Black schemes, a bit in Norwegian , a bit Old School, a bit American Way, Unholy Terror brings the old into the newer visions and is able to compete with  the lively Black Metal American scene.   

I am the  enemy number  1 of covers, so, although it's a meritorious tribute to the mythical  and immortal Celtic Frost, Circle of the Tyrants doesn't add anything  special to the album on the whole, yet it is magnetic and enslaver. It sounds voluminous and thunderous,  has maintained its  heavy  force and destructive  attitude. Drumming here sounds a bit different:  very dry . The song in itself kills and it's also well executed, however doesn't complete anything. You should  consider that  it's placed at the very bottom  as appendix (bonus track indeed), as often is done with  covers. But  i think that,  theoretically, it  would have been better if positioned after  the title track and before Doomsday Prophecy.

The Bloody Path of God is dark, diversified, full of anger, full of strength and with very good musical ideas, with the will to demolish and to menace, yet it leaves a tear, a hope in a legitimate vendetta. When wrath and melody don't collide, they meet and merge into one, walking a  path together.

 

rating: 9.7/10

 

dalia di giacomo 
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