Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Reader Submissions: Mystical: Demo I

One of the results of our current technology-dominated society is that just about anyone can now make music.  And it is much easier to get music out to people as well.  I do not mean to start this out on a negative note, but it is fairly clear from the quality of this release that the members of Portuguese black metal band Mystical are fairly new to the game.  A cursory glance at the members' respective backgrounds would confirm this, beyond guitarist BHJS.  But this is just a demo, so it is hard to be too hard on the guys.

The big complaint that I have here is that it sounds too synthetic.  The drums are programmed, the keyboards sound a little bit too sterile, and the samples are an odd choice.  The only real instrument is the guitar which simply plays some basic black metal riff, usually just one or two riffs per song.  It is hard to achieve a good black metal atmosphere when the instruments do not sound real.  The music is fairly simple and direct.  The songs are all very short as well and rely on a couple of ideas per song.

There are a couple of silver linings for this band, glimmers of hope that could be improved on and result in a decent next recording.  "Eternal Damnation" is a pretty decent song, with some interesting riffs and a decent sound, despite the overly-programmed drumming.  A couple of the other tracks also have the hint of some good ideas present, such as the keyboard-driven break in "Torture of the Damned" and the riffs in "The Cursed Earth".  In addition, the vocals, despite being stereotypical for black metal, do sound pretty good.

When all is said and done, this is a demo.  It is hard to have high expectations and it is hard to be disappointed.  There are some things that Mystical could do to improve, but that is typical for bands on their first demo.  There is room for growth.  It will be interesting to see where they go from here.

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