21.09.2003

Morbid signs of Destruction
Beyond The Black Dawn
Satanic Rituals
Awaken By Blood
Wings Of Death
Deadly Ghosts
Open The Gates Of Hell
The Book Of Shadows
Burning Souls
Demoniac Dimension
 

BEELZEBUB -Vocals, Bass

EZPHARESS - Guitars
NECRODEMON - Drums

 

MYSTIC CIRCLE: "Open the Gates of Hell"     mystic-circle         

release date 22.09.2003

"
Interview with Ezpharess 2002
Mystic Circle live 2002
Damien

Review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____    


Months ago i said in some reviews (and mentioned in some interviews too) that i had  the impression that the "Dark" style, at the border of Gloomy and Gothic and melodic Death, would have ruled the new direction of Metal. Well i'm happy, cause i see i could do the  clairvoyant  in order to live, without  starving  to death. More or less all genres get a dark, melodic ,  "gothic" colour : the Gothic turns more and more to metal and metal is getting more and more  sad, melodic  harmonic touches. I personally ( as  doom, melodic death and gothic  fan )  couldn't be more content about this sort of osmosis, which gives expression and variety. Result: any labelling of Metal music becomes even more useless and improbable than before. Being the distinction  between good music and bad one the only "watershed" that counts.  I  get another  confirmation of all this listening to  the brand new sixth album from  Mystic Circle. It is still Black , and how!, but the Black soul is looking for wider and more mature horizons.  Black metal is becoming  more hybrid, yes (oh i see the horrified faces of the purists!) but even more enjoyable. For jaysus sake,  why should Black and Death  remain enchained to iron rules? No discussion: Death and Black are the top genres and with all their potentiality is more than right that they become richer in influences winning a wider spectrum of audience. And Mystic Circle, like other important  Black bands , with Open the Gates of Hell, jump definately out from  cramped spaces and present an excellent album characterized by very varied songs: from merciless Black (and you recognize the typical Mystic Circle guitar riffing among  millions) to a Black mixed with Death , Heavy, Thrash and even with a Gothic and Doomy touches. Yes, in particular  the track "Wings of Death" (nr 5) is very Gothic oriented with the  insertion of female vocals: a potential club hit , absolutely fascinating, agreeable , heavy, powerful and sorrowfully atmospheric. It follows a bit the schema of the beautiful and the beast , a  fusion between a Crematory - Darkseed Gothic and Mystic Circle Black (we should not forget that this album is produced by Gerhard Magin - TOT - Crematory -  EverEve a o.)  . From the moment that it is really well done this experiment can only be applauded. Certainly  many fans will not believe to their ears , but as long as the own roots are not neglected or betrayed , everything is possible and welcomed.  

Another fantastic track is   "Beyond the black Dawn": Black mixed with Melodic Death, so much that in many passages they make me recall Kataklysm , both in music and a bit in the way to put  the rasping vocals on 2 tonalities . 

Do you want a symphonic, atmospheric , impending  intro ? here we have it, indeed the cd opens with the short and instrumental  Morbid Sign of Destruction which  fades into the lively rhythmed  Beyond the black Dawn: brilliant, brilliant. ah but you want some merciless Black at any cost, eh? Ok , ready : track number 3 :   Satanic Rituals, fast , merciless enough with some Death flavour, heavy guitar riffing, with some biting hits of lead.  

Fast and powerful , completely drum  powered is  Awaken by Blood, with perfect executed tempo changes, tremolo grenades, brachial screams, and a breathtaking hammering proceeding  with almost brutal stop.  

We go on with Wings of Death ,  we have already spoken about; after  Awaken by Blood is a pure lust, a well plotted  contrast in the continuity. 

Deadly Ghosts is entirely instrumental  atmospheric , slow, solemn  at the borderline between Black and Gothic and Sacred , well orchestrated, featuring a variety of instruments and a valuable chorus. 

But right, you want  Satanic rhythms at any costs, so time to be nailed by the title track Open the Gates of Hell, with rolling loops,  differently  paced ,  not too much fast but disruptive ,  heavy . Book of Shadows is opened  by 25 seconds of cavernous horror:  a mainly spoken intro - that could be seen also as outro of the previous song - (a superhuman creature coming from the Abyss couldn't "recite" better) launches the catchy , powerful , raw, but melodic at the same time, body of the song .  

 Burning Souls  is another  powerful grenade Heavy and Black oriented, with catchy  reverbering mid- tempo passages and a rebel attitude. 

Finally the album closes with Demoniac Dimension suspended by sad,  atmospheric passages and angry fast loops, between  galloping, instrumental virtuosity and hyperenergy. 

A praise to the exact and awesome drums: dry and sharp, when needed, but also bass sound propelling, always powerful. A praise to vocals too: brutal and superb, tempered, listenable and intelligible. 

Mystic Circle new, Mystic Circle well balanced and fresh.  Faithful to their "timbre" they  open anyway  a different  gate to an  infernal   headbanging  and to a spectacular fusion between Black and Melodic Death, with far excursions which transport us, with the track number 5, at the door of Gothic. A wide burst on  Metal which will be appreciated by the fans of Heavy, Death and by the  not narrow- minded Black listeners.  An album that will be eaten  by the use and not by the dust. Great innovation and modernity. No discussion

rating:  9.5/10 

dalia di giacomo 
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