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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
02. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
03. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
04. Anathema
- The Optimist
05. God Body Disconnect
- Sleeper's Fate
06. Peter Bjärgö
- Animus Retinentia
07. Friends Of Alice Ivy
- The Last Days Of Fenwyck
08. Isenordal
- Shores Of Mourning
09. Phallus Dei
- Black Dawn
10. Au-Dessus
- End Of Chapter

More HERE

Random album

Mystigma - Unzerbrechlich (2013) - Review

Band: Mystigma
Album title: Unzerbrechlich
Release date: 22 March 2013
Label: Echozone

Tracklisting:
01. Bloodline
02. Erinner Dich
03. Razorspirit
04. Dancing With Witches (Wintersun)
05. Was von der Nacht noch übrig bleibt
06. Uhrwerk Stille
07. Hurt
08. Tiefes Rot
09. A Thousand Rains
10. Pretending Cross
11. Unzerbrechlich
12. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol cover)

This one came really by a surprise, as I was wondering where the hell the band once called Tears Of Mystigma finished. And here they are, with different, shortened name into just Mystigma and already with two albums under this monicker. As Tears Of Mystigma they released some demos, EPs and one studio album, but in the beginning of new millenium they've changed the name. The band has matured, change in style is very much noticeable and interesting thing is that the line up hasn't changed that much since bands formation in 1995. Vocalist, guitarist and bass guitarist are the same, the only member change is behind the drums and since their previous Andagony album released in 2010 the band has only one guitar man.

Unzerbrechlich is one of those albums that shows two sides of the band. One is fascinating, passionate, powerful and stunning, but the other one is bland, uninspired and simple. Thanks god that the dominant part is the first one and the band shows all its power with the opener "Bloodline" and next three songs songs don't lose this grip. Gothic metal in typical German manner, the bands that come in mind are of course Darkseed, Crematory and once mighty EverEve, still you can hear some parts that lean more toward masters of gothic metal like Paradise Lost and even to Aussie dark rockers The Eternal. The metal side is often swaped into more gothic dark rock waters and the band tries to occasionally implement their sound with some electronics, what brings some dynamics into the sole song structures. Mystigma with this album don't explore new sounds, they rather settle themselves into the safe zone within the genre and they do it good. Great, distinctive, captivating, velvety, emotional and expressive vocals by Torsten Bäumer are really caressing your hearing system, either when singing harsher or calmer lines, also the guitar work is throwing some splendid melodies. Later on there are again some very nice tunes like atmospheric semi ballad "A Thousand Rains" with great background female vocals sangt by Ellina Hell or very powerful "Pretending Cross" and its nice introduction with dark piano touches. Unfortunately there are also tracks that sypathize with NDW (Neue Deutsche Welle/New German Wave) music genre like "Uhrwerk Stille" or "Tiefes Rot", not to mention the title track, where the band sounds tired, simplistic, just listen to those boring and repetitive drum beats, though there are some almost "cyberish" synths, but it doesn't save the overall feel of those tracks. Fortunatelly enough that at the end comes an amazing cover of Billy Idols "Rebel Yell" that saves the album from some bad taste that was left after before mentioned failed tracks.

Unzerbrechlich is divided into six songs sangt in English and five in German and there is no secret that I enjoyed much more those with English lyrics, plus of course the Billy Idols cover. There are enough catchy lines that will force the listener to make many replays of this album, of course with some tracks skipped. I'm more than sure that the refrain and guitar riffs of "Dancing With Witches (Wintersun)" will stay with you for a long time.

Mystigma have done a satisfying job, still I'm sure that they can do it even better, as they certainly have talent, almost twenty years of experience and I can only hope that the band will free itself from the last restraint that doesn't allow them to go even further with their sound and compositions. Good production, nice layout and artwork gives some bonus points. So, you must understand that it's very difficult to give the right rating to this album, still I belive that a 7,5 out of 10 would be the right one, probably unfair for majority of songs, but on the other hand more than generous for those mediocre ones.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: protoU
Album title: Khmaoch
Release date: 11 October 2016
Label: Cryo Chamber

This time around protoU is holding no bars. Sasha Cats has proven once and for all that she is, in fact, a dark ambient musician. Khmaoch brings the same serene drones and ASMR infused field recordings. But this time there is a definite darkness creeping up from beneath the surface. protoU has taken all the elements that made her first release work and doubled, nay, tripled them. There is a level of detail and precision here which begs the listener to come back over and over again. This time for the field recordings, listening as a story plays out in aural space. Next time for the deep and serene drone work, a perfect accompaniment to meditation or a diversion from insomnia. If there was any question before that protoU was not a perfect fit for Cryo Chamber, that can be put to rest. Khmaoch embodies all the things that a fan could ask for when it comes to dark ambient.

Read a full review HERE