posted on 1/2006 By:
Impressive, self-produced Symphonic Extreme Metal with healthy doses of operatic vocals. Features members of Svartharid, Trail of Tears, and Sarcoma Inc.
Well, well! What a pleasant surprise for my first review of 2006. I admittedly had my doubts when I saw Mistro was a self-produced demo, however, said doubts were quickly dashed to bits once the bow of the Viking ship that is Lucid Fear smashed into my head. These Norwegians know how to make a first impression! Especially considering they’re not covering any new ground as far as genres are concerned. Sure, you can say it’s been done before, and yes, one can easily point their finger at a number of bands that are obvious influences for Lucid Fear, but these guys do this genre quite well.
After the initial roll of the eyes for the ‘raining/thunderstorm’ intro, I was truly impressed by the first three tracks, “Mistro”, “Grief for My Death”, and “Psychic Deterioration”. These cuts alone are worth the price of admission for this fine EP. The title track jumps out quickly with a serious Emperoresque feel, but slows things down nicely 2:30 in with a nice symphonic keyboard breakdown. It also features a kingly, fist-pumping ‘hail, hail, hail’ chorus towards the end that does a great job of filling the eyes with bloody rage. The second track, “Grief for My Death” (composed by the lone female member of the band), features a great sweeping feel to it that really grabs the listener by the short hairs. I was also surprised to learn the same woman supplying the operatic elements for the EP spit forth the venomous, raspy vocals for this track. Pretty damned impressive. “Psychic Deterioration” leans a bit heavier on the operatic elements, but keeps the battle momentum going until it jumps to the slower paced “Outro”.
My criticisms of Mistro are really pretty minor. I personally don’t like my Metal too laden with operatic vocals. Not that I don’t like them, I just like them used sparingly. Just a personal preference. I would rather have Catherine supply more of her excellent blackened vocals, and balance out some of the operatic flitting with more lead guitar work (something that’s actually missing from this EP). Also, separating the track, “Outro”, doesn’t seem necessary to me when it fits nicely as a closing to the song before it, “Psychic Deterioration”.
As I said before, Lucid Fear aren’t exactly blazing a new trail with this EP, but they certainly deliver an excellent rendition of Symphonic Extreme Metal, especially considering this is self-produced. It might be hard for fans of this genre to find Mistro, but you can get it directly from the band at their website…and I recommend you do just that.
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