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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.