When people think of black metal, the image is usually something reminiscent of Blaze in the Northern Sky: cold riffs, fairly consistent tempos and shrieking vocals. But black metal has always had more dimensions and variation to it than this, and it shows in the many acts from Greece, Poland, France and Japan that have brought so many influences into the style – and taken it to many more places. But we shouldn’t discount Brazil from the discussion. Sure, at this point bands like Sarcofago, Vulcano and Sepultura’s very early work are rightly credited with giving black metal much of its ferocity. Somewhere between these bands and the black circle, Mystifier often gets lost in the shuffle.
This is unfortunate, as the band’s early work on 1992’s Wicca and 1993’s Göetia contains some of the boldest, creepiest and ripping black metal ever made. As Dayal Patterson noted in Black Metal: Into the Abyss:
In much the same way as, say, the early 90s Greek bands, Mystifier demonstrated pronounced local influence while nonetheless also displaying a more universal shift in extreme metal values that ultimately manifested in the rebirth of the genre worldwide around 1991 and 1992.
The band went on to release albums in 1996 and 2001, but this was followed by a long stretch of silence, at least in terms of recorded material. But last week, the band officially returned to the fray with Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia, an album that continues the band’s legacy in glorious fashion. Though Mystifier is certainly a black metal band, there’s a lot of different flavors and notes to be found here. Some classic heavy metal grooves, some brutal death metal firestorms, and perhaps a hint of thrash here and there as well. It’s varied and greatly satisfying feast of fury. It also shows the band’s continued fascination with the spiritual realm and the occult, as the band’s founder, Armando Beelzeebubth, described in Dayals interview with him:
I’m trying to open the minds of our fans with our music, about the knowledge, about the dark arts, about Gnosticism. I use a lot of stuff from Aleister Crowly, from Anton LaVey, something from philosophy like Schopenhauer and Nietzsche and mix all that … into Mystifier
Check out “Weighing Heart Ceremony” below to see what he means: