Mystic Circle are certainly no strangers. The band from Ludwigshafen, Germany has its beginnings in the early 90s and tossed the debut album ‘Morgenröte – Der Schrei nach Finsternis’ on the scene in 1996.
It was in 1999 when a caesura took place. A. Blackwar left the band, leaving Beelzebub as the only remaining founding member. It was 2007 when Mystic Circle completely withdrew. The band split up. 2022 is another milestone in the history of the band, which has toured with bands like Marduk and Dimmu Borgir.
A. Blackwar and Beelzebub never completely lost contact, but that the two would reunite under the Mystic Circle banner was not really expected. So the pleasant surprise of a reunion was all the greater and the fact that a new album is to be expected rounded off the anticipation.
The band’s new album is called ‘Mystic Circle’ and that makes perfect sense. Often it is the debut album of a band that bears the band’s name. Here, however, it is a new beginning and what could symbolize this better than such an album title. The second thing that stands out is that Mystic Circle have gone back to the old logo and this is no coincidence either.
22 years after their split Mystic Circle goes back to the good old times with their new album. Dark and grim black metal is not reinvented here, but it is reinterpreted with the help of modern recording technology.
Musically the album has a lot to offer. 47 minutes of sinister black metal start with ‘Belial is My Name’. Right at the beginning of the opener there is another reference to the mentioned ‘Infernal Satanic Verses’, whose outro is picked up by the intro to ‘Mystic Circle’. ‘Belial is My Name’ is a ruthless starting point and makes unmistakably evident that no compromises have been made in this regard. Moreover, a certain filigree can be detected in the solo parts, which offers a contrast to the frenzied passages.
Mystic Circle’s metal is fast and hard. Nevertheless, the band has with songs like ‘Hell Demons Rising’ more atmospheric tracks in its repertoire too. The latter track is an ominous and diabolic anthem that pulls you in with an underlying melody. Also interesting is the choral opening sequence of ‘The Arrival of Baphomet’, which relatively quickly turns into an aggressive and anthemic black metal track.
Although being ‘just’ a bonus track on the CD digipak, ‘Death Metal’ should also be mentioned. Indeed. It is a cover version of the Possessed classic and the way Mystic Circle translate this underground hymn deserves all respect and is a true tribute to Jeff Becerra & Co.
Mystic Circle are back and the new album makes it very clear that this band is back with sinister energy. Maybe the 22 years of waiting for this album were necessary, because what black metal fans get to hear will surely be pleasing. Vicious riffs, sinister melodies and the heat of purgatory, that’s what Mystic Circle transport with their new album and it seems like 1999 was just yesterday.
- Belial Is My Name
- Seven Headed Dragon
- Hell Demons Rising
- Letters From The Devil
- Darkness In Flames
- The Arrival Of Baphomet
- Curse Of The Wolf Demon
- Satanic Mistress
- Death Metal (Possessed cover) (Bonustrack- only CD-Digipak))
Label: Atomic Fire Records
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date EU: February 4th, 2022
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