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DAY OF EXECUTION - review
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MYSTICUM
MYSTICUM
In The Streams Of Inferno
(Avantgarde Music)
41:42min

Avantgarde Music from Italy had the good idea to reissue this a few months ago on digi format. It is in fact an excellent opportunity for people who had missed it back in 1996 to get this little gem of brutal and poisonous Black Metal from the land of frost, wolves and burning churches: Norway. MYSTICUM left their mark within the Black Metal circles, and their one and only full length (a sophomore one, titled "Planet Satan", was apparently fully recorded, but never actually issued) is now considered as a cult release, for good reasons I think. Indeed, MYSTICUM's music could be extremely disturbing and frightful to some, because of its coldness and bleakness (the final atmospheric part of 'In The Last Of The Ruins' is especially depressing). Despite a try they made with Hellhammer (from MAYHEM of course) at the drums department, this three piece chose to stick to the heavily computerized drums they started with on their first demos. This little detail makes all the difference with their numerous Scandinavian colleagues, and adds to the very special sound of this album. In fact some passages of "In The Streams Of Inferno" could cause depressive moods, so appreciate this while being perfectly at ease with your own existence. It is commonly accepted fact that MYSTICUM mixed industrial elements with their classic brand of Black Metal, I can't say this is that much valid with hindsight. Indeed the already mentioned drum machine could give this impression at first, but a deepened listening let appear the industrial influences as merely anecdotic. The harsh vocals stay faithful to the great tradition of Norwegian Black Metal (the recording was in fact completed way before 1996, but an ill-fated deal with DSP delayed the actual outing of the album). Some keyboards are used here and here, but don't expect a symphonic effort in the early EMPEROR vein. The pacing within each of the tracks varies from reasonably fast to slow, with an original use of the possibilities of the programming of the drum machine rhythm wise. This reissue features a very interesting bonus track titled 'Eriaminell' which maybe comes from more recent sessions, I really don't know, but anyway it sounds promising and makes me regret another MYSTICUM full length has still to see the light of the day (or more appropriately: the dark of the night...) This record is absolutely essential to anyone interested by the legendary Norwegian scene of the early 90s. I would have liked a proper booklet with more information about this mysterious band, but maybe it could have ruined the cult aura surrounding MYSTICUM after all. For more info: www.avantgardemusic.com and www.fmp666.com (check the superb galleries on the latter, total Black Metal kult!!)

Edouard Vergriete

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