Mystifier - _The World Is So Good That Who Made It Doesn't Live Here_
(Osmose Productions, 1996)
by: Henry Akeley (8 out of 10)
Mystifier's songwriting displays the kind of cunning artistry which you don't often hear propelling such dark and punishing music. And these guys can be punishing indeed: they play a predominantly mid-paced, low-tuned, super-heavy style of death metal, augmented by a solid production job and set apart by a number of distinctive touches. For instance: their vocalist is a tenor! This seems unbelievable, I know, but if you ask me, it works. For one thing, he sings in a pretty standard "gruff" style most of the time anyway - but on the odd moments when he belts it out in a (more or less) clear voice, he adds a very distinctive vibe to the music, encompassing way more emotional range than the usual death metal burping. The band is also notable for pushing dense but very crisp-sounding bass lines way up front in the mix, for featuring some very tasty lead guitar work, and for artfully spicing their arrangements with keyboards (piano and organ tones, not new-agey stuff). Their songs tend to gradually mount from an atmosphere of chilly foreboding to one of big-time tension, as on the amazing "Chant to the Goddess of Love", which continually builds and builds in sonic depth and emotional intensity. This isn't the kind of stuff that reaches right out and grabs you: you have to really pay attention, but when you do, you find that there's a hell of a lot going on. The basic formula might wear a bit thin over time, I think - but this is way heavy, really creative stuff nonetheless.

(article published 11/10/1996)

7/9/2003 J Smit 3 Mystifier - Profanus
10/19/2001 P Azevedo 6 Mystifier - The Fourth Evil Calling From the Abyss
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