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Mysteriis – Hellsurrection - 50%

Asag_Asakku, January 25th, 2013

Some resurrections are really surprising. This is the case for Mysteriis, a Brazilian band that knew certain notoriety when their first album was released. Launched in 1999, About the Christian Despair practically introduced symphonic black metal in South America. Strongly inspired by Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth music, which were triumphing at this time, this record generated strong reactions among local fans, used to uncompromising and extremely brutal metal. However, this adventure was short-lived and the group ceased operations at the turn of the new millennium.

Its reformation announcement (with three members of the original lineup) and the release of the aptly named Hellsurrection therefore naturally arouse curiosity, accompanied by skepticism. After all, much blood has flowed under the bridge since 2000 and black metal has changed profoundly since symphonic kitsch triumph. Did the band take notice? Partially.

General impression that emerges from the album is mixed. Production is solid and musicianship is impeccable. Discomfort is rather coming from compositions that sound devilishly ersatz. Obviously, the band did not want to take any risks that could jeopardize their return, thus obtaining a rather banal result. Despite their twelve years silence, Mysteriis members seem to have experienced the same stylistic mutation as their idols of yesteryear. Less gothic and closer melodeath / metalcore movement, the band’s musical evolution is highly reminiscent of Cradle of Filth’s own metamorphosis during the last decade. Songs are well built to appeal fans of easy riffs, catchy melodies, a hint of keyboard and a smokescreen « Satanism ». Nazarene Shall Fall is the only song to really distinguish itself with a frenzied rhythm and a real black metal atmosphere. Rest of the album unfortunately fails to match this first flash.

Brazilian black metal has never really been recognized for its originality and it is certainly not Hellsurrection that may change this prejudice. It is unfortunate that the band did not take this long break to get away somewhat from their original references and explore new horizons. They certainly have the capacity, but desire has perhaps not followed. Pity.

Originally written for Métal Obscur.