Title: And the Darkness Was Cast Out Into Wilderness
Label: Vendetta Records
Release date: 30 August 2019
Format reviewed: High-Quality Digital Promo
I decided to go a month back and present you MYSTAGOGUE’s debut album. ”And the Darkness Was Cast Out Into Wilderness” has been in rotation with me over September and the album slowly but steadily convinced me that it deserves attention and it deserves to be presented on Blessed Altar Zine. The album was officially released on vinyl and CD 30 August by Vendetta, while the wold saw the digital version on 21 June. A quite long gap between the formats, and even longer for this present review.
I definitely must start with the members of the band. MYSTAGOGUE is a duo band featuring W. Damiaen on drums, well-known mostly for his work in amazing LASTER, as well as another dozen band. On the vocals and all types of guitars and bass, we have M.de Jong, who you might know for his work in the noise monster GNAW THEIR TONGUES, as well as another couple of tens of bands too. With such multitalented musicians is no wonder that ”And the Darkness Was Cast Out Into Wilderness” turned out quite solid and very pleasant to listen to.
Another fact drew my attention. The album contains eight tracks but on contrary to the most black metal acts, the songs are relatively short, resulting in almost 28 minutes only total running time of the album. This means slightly above 3 minutes per song. That said, the shortness of the tracks was not a disadvantage for me while listening to the record, but on the contrary – for the sake of variety and for the sake of staying hungry. I would like to point out the great artwork as well here. Just in line with the propounders of the mystical doctrines…
What about the music. It is very enjoyable straight forward black metal with great pickings, tremolos, epic riffs, wild blasts and vocals just on the edge between black shrieks and noise shrieks. (naturally). The album starts with a punch with “Bereaved of Light” followed by “The Gift of Grief Upon Black Earth”. In my mind just popped up some associations about ALGAION meets THE ABYSS meets WINDSWEPT. I guess it is a good direction for you the readers. The self-titled album track is in solemn tempo with an epic main riff. “Here in the White Silence of the Dawn” has another great eerie main melody encompassing the track from the beginning till the end, and having the painful screams on vocals, both are pushing the track mostly in some post-black territories. The rest four tracks – “And Shrieking Winds Lash The Oceans Into Madness”, “A Nacreous-Tinted Halo of Bright Sorrow”, “Nothing but the Night-Black Mantle” and “The Splendor of Our Demise” just continue the line of calmer introduction, a wild middle part with some drop-downs, and awesome (pagan) riffing. Again without a very specific reason THE ABYSS came into my mind here… Not sure why, but the overall atmosphere of those four tracks reminded me about the glorious HYPOCRISY side project from the 90s.
So if you like what you have just read and all the above-mentioned descriptions and pathetic comparisons, do check MYSTAGOGUE. With no inventing the wheel, the duo humbly deserves our love and attention just because of the enjoyable black metal they deliver. Give them a go! I’m sure they will keep you warm during the upcoming winter days. 7/10 Count Vlad
7/10 Victory is possible
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre!**