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After the epic album "Morbid Wings of Sathanas", Baptism returns with a four song 10" mini-LP. Unfortunately this one leaves me a bit disappointed. Let me explain why.
In general, Evil Mysteries has more pop-sensibility than any previous Baptism release. This is not a bad thing by definition, not at all. Sad that the playing and the sounds do not support these new, midtempo compositions. There´s basicly two guitars in the mix. One guitar has quite clear, almost nondescript sound while the other one is highly disorted and mixed in the background. There isn´t basicly anything in between these two guitar tracks, which makes the record bad sounding. Especially since the bass and drums bring next to nothing into the arrangements. This especially eats power from the slow parts of the opening track, "Black Desolation." As a composition the song is a good one but it would need a much heavier sounds or better arrangements to rise above average.
The second track, "Azazelin tähti" is written in Finnish, which is nice. Being faster song, it doesn´t suffer the sounds like previous one. Actually Azazelin tähti fits the recording quality quite well.
Opener of the b-side, "Ruins" is the best track on this release. It is uptempo song with great, almost epic riffing, making it a true Baptism classic. Too bad that the last one, "Decades of Tornment" is mostly slow track that, even though not being actually bad one, sounds a bit unfinnished and cannot bring the record into a proper ending. This makes Evil Mysteries look more like a collection of four odd songs rather than anything desinged for a particular record.
Despise all the criticism, Evil Mysteries is not a complete failure. It consist of two good and two average tracks. As a single it would have been really good. Even in its present form, it makes it above average.
Yes, precisely. That's what the cover seems to express. A lugubrious and tenebrous cave lies open before your eyes and you have but a faint light in the distance that seems to be calling for you and luring you into the "EVIL MYSTERIES" of darkness, where the chosen few shall wander and explore Satan's treasures. BAPTISM have spawned a MiniLP that guides us into a realm of desolate beauty and musical ecstasy!
In an age where so many people are contented with having MP3 versions of albums, some of us still choose to buy things original and to support the bands. BAPTISM clearly deserve this support and what "EVIL MYSTERIES" gives the listener more than makes up for the money spent on buying the item! The riffs are a little different from what we heard on BAPTISM's previous full-lengths, but the songs are just as praiseworthy as they have always been. To put things into context, I will say that Lord Sarcofagian has added an electro-accoustic feel to some riffs, while keeping the melodies that supporters have come to expect over the years. I'm sure that many of us feel nervous whenever one of our favourite TBM bands announces a new album, for fear of them abandoning everything they have ever represented, be it musically or ideologically. BAPTISM are, however, still marching with full force and have not lost an ounce of the BM spirit they've had all along. "EVIL MYSTERIES" comes as a confirmation of the band's attachment to the Black Metal cause, and at just over 25 minutes, is free of any redundant riffs that might bore some listeners.
This is as good as Black Metal can get in this age of trends and sell-outs. So if it's EVIL you seek and you long to explore the MYSTERIES of Satan's realm, "EVIL MYSTERIES" will undoubtedly quench your hunger!