Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mefisto

Mefisto
2. 0. 1. 6
Vic Records
release: 22 February 2016
Here is a bit of information about the cult and long-defunct 80s extreme metal band Mefisto (Sweden) and its return. After that, you will find a general evaluation by this publication of the new album.
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Recently the folks at Vic Records revealed a compilation of two demos from Mefisto, an extreme metal band from Sweden that had two demos in 1986. Of course, Mefisto is not nearly as well known as other, more successful names in 80s Swedish metal, but Mefisto’s demos showed a band with a lot of promise, a promise that was left unfulfilled because in time, Mefisto ended and left those demos as its legacy in the history of lesser-known extreme metal bands from Sweden.
Now, decades later, Mefisto returns with its first album. This is the official information about the return of Mefisto:
“MEFISTO started back in 1984 under the name Torment. Along with Obscurity, the two were the first Swedish extreme bands to follow mighty BATHORY. Both bands were of superior quality, however after just 2 demos, both folded as they were simply too early with their extreme music at the time and getting no support.
MEFISTO since gained a cult status, heavily influencing the upcoming extreme music underground, especially the local Stockholm Death Metal scene. Featuring mega-talented guitarist Omar Ahmed, who delivered tight riffs and great solos, played out in a classic yet extreme manner, that to this day sounds fresh and relevant. Roberto Granath delivered violent drumming like only a few have before. After the departure of bassist / singer Sandro, guitarist Omar took over the vocals aswell.
30 years after the demos there is finally the MEFISTO debut album 2. 0. 1. 6. Recorded in Stockholm, mastered by Dan Swano (Opeth, Katatonia, Bloodbath). Coverart by Roberto Toderico (Tygers of Pan Tang, Soulburn, Sinister).”
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general assessment of the new album:
Mefisto’s old style was the general sound of 80s black metal, extreme metal vocals reminiscent of early Bathory, Sodom and Hellhammer, three bands that really took Motorhead/Venom’s vocal influence and ratcheted up the extreme factor substantially. Mefisto’s music sounded, basically, like cult, evil, dark thrash.
To people that have certain expectations the new album will be a huge surprise, let’s find out why. First, there’s the issue of the vocals. As you already read, given that the old vocalist is gone, the guitar player has taken over the vocals, which sound very, very different. The vocals now are aggro-metal, tough-guy scream-growl, a harsh tone, with some punk/street traits, very “in-your-face.”
The new album is new recordings of old songs from the demos. Comparing the instrumentation itself, the new versions simply sound like modern, better-quality recordings, and the new songs do sound similar to the old songs, in broad terms. Yet, the songs do not sound alike. The energy, personality and mood are very different. As strange as it may seem, the music sounds like prog thrash now: still thrashy, but more musical; more skilled, but the old cult spirit has been replaced in the process. (If you ask them, the band might tell you that the “cult” spirit was just bad-quality recordings by a band with no money and no experience.)
This general direction is the overall sound of the new album. In a way, it makes no sense to expect the band to sound similar to the old days, but the truth is that the old and few Mefisto maniacs that expected the old magic to return will be severely disappointed due to the sheer number of new differences: the vocals, production, instrumentation, vibes, amongst other factors. On the other hand, Mefisto is “new” to most people and there is no doubt as to the quality of the new album. Plus, the metal audiences that like to discover old cult bands and that like to hear the old folks get back on the horse should be glad to hear Mefisto ride again. Just in case it is not clear: if you really expected or wanted Mefisto to be black metal (80s black metal or otherwise), then stay far away from this album. If you are not so uptight, then explore the new sounds and see what you think.
www.facebook.com/Mefisto-234630006720804/
www.vicrecords.com

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