Mystic Circle - Official Website - Interview
The Bloody Path Of God
Review by Nathan on April 24, 2023.
Man, shit like this makes me want to donate all my band shirts to Goodwill, go overseas and volunteer as a missionary. The Bloody Path of God is for people who consider showering a “once every other week” kind of thing and think that growing a beard makes you look more satanic. It’s quite metal, don’t get me wrong, but this is a prime example or “more metal” not being at all equivalent to “good”.
I’m glad this band is split up because they have absolutely no reason to exist. Whose mediocre musical vision is this? The guitarist seems like a semi-consistent member, but the rest of the band is a haphazard rotating cast of nobodies who don’t stick around for longer than an album or so . The music seems like a tertiary interest to…I’m not quite sure what (their image? Was their live set really good/weird?). Mystic Circle frequently change up genre throughout their career and their songs are similarly a mishmash of metal subgenres, although I must say for a band with a “melodic death/black metal” tag these guys have a shitload of groove/thrash riffs and chugs, which no reviews on the internet seem to acknowledge. Occasionally there’s some kind of thing that would show up on a death or black metal album, but it’s more garnish than it is meat and it’s never thrown into the song in a way that makes sense, which is why the genre designation this typically gets is puzzling for me. To be fair, I’m not too familiar with their earlier albums, so those might be a little bit more “authentic”, but this a few pig squeals or a clean vocal chorus away from sounding like that terrible metalcore band that somehow gets to play every fucking show you go to. That could just be a North American phenomenon for all I know, I guess Mystic Circle is the German version of that?
The frequent reliance on start-stop chugging is bad enough, but the worst part is it does very little to mask the vocals that I will generously refer to as being “fucking dogshit”. It’s not just that his tone is that of a fifth-tier Glen Benton clone, it’s not just that he uses the exact same iambic trimeter phrasing all of the time and for like every fucking chorus, it’s not just that the vocals are often too busy in the mix and never shut up even during the awkward, sort of somber non-distorted guitar parts, it’s not just that the low vocals sound like a grumpy grandmother, it’s…well, it’s a little bit of all of that, really, they’re just bad in every way possible and don’t even have enough courtesy to be infrequent in the music or quiet in the mix. If the riffs were doing something worth being distracted by, that'd be one thing, but they’re some of the most aimless, mediocre riffs I’ve heard in quite a while. Ever single melodic idea sounds like it was cribbed from a better riff by a bigger band (I hear everything from Children of Bodom to Deicide to Cradle of Filth to basically any mainstream metal band you can think of), and considering the amount of different subgenres that show up on this album that’s an impressive number of bands to (un?)succesfully rip off. Sometimes eclectic riff salad albums by obscure bands end up being hidden gems, but Mystic Circle can’t be bothered to play with anything resembling conviction. That’s why I was wondering who is really responsible for the ethos and aesthetic behind this band earlier in the review - this is so awkwardly written and flatly played that I can’t imagine any point in the process of making this, someone was like “this is my true musical vision come to life”. Others who have written about this band have noted that they were often lambasted for being trend-hoppers and lacking an identity, and The Bloody Path of God is nothing if not a shining example of that. It honestly sounds like the main songwriter copy-pasted a bunch of different riffs his friends wrote for him. Maybe their other albums are better or something, but those seem to get a pretty lukewarm reception as well. Does anyone like this band? Who is buying their albums?
I have no idea who would benefit from listening to this. Anything you could possibly hear on it can surely be heard in a much better form from another band who actually has a clear vision and purpose. The drums are competent but the production leaves them soulless, I'm not sure if it was a session drummer but it sure as hell feels like this guy wouldn't even hang around the other musicians if they didn't pay him. and Did I mention that there are frequently annoying, ill-fitting keyboards in the background? Fuck, this sucks, and Mystic Circle couldn’t even humor me a bit by sucking in a funny or interesting way.
Rating: 2.6 out of 10319