Infernal Satanic Verses
Review by Felix on May 22, 2019.
Mystic Circle has never been the most authentic or the most competent black metal band. Some medias blamed them for being clowns who just follow the trendsetters and I cannot deny that Infernal Satanic Verses gives fodder for the critics. Already the first regular track after the atmospheric keyboard intro has all the ingredients that most genre fans despise: female vocals, a lot of melodic parts and an overuse of the synthetic keyboards. Is this really black metal? I don't think so. The melodic components are dominating, even though the band also knows how to handle more or less powerful and harsh high-speed sections. However, one does not find an iota of ugliness, misanthropy or desperation. Generally speaking, the material reflects a compositional maturity, but nearly no features that characterize the genre. And the dudes have made a mistake which can be easily avoided. The songs are too long.
This is not to say that they lack substance. They are rather meticulously arranged. The problem here is that they are all based on the same pattern. Pretty direct and straight sections lead to harmonic parts and vice versa and the almost overrepresented tempo changes are remarkable. Sometimes I feel like listening to a dark opera (but I wanted a piece of metal). The clowns of the Mystic Circus do not offer a progressively designed album, by far not, but their songs are like a child that cannot sit still on its chair, not even for five minutes. The one-size-fits-all pattern makes the tunes interchangeable and there is not much that keeps sticking in my mind. Nevertheless, I want to be fair: "The Devilstone" has some very well executed parts and leaves a good overall impression, although it suffers - like each and every song here - from the expressionless nagging of the lead singer. Whenever the formation wants to create a dramatic part, he has to shut up and a female voice appears. Or, second alternative, he changes his way of articulation and tries to sound very demonic while speaking some nonsensical words.
Like thousands other bands, Mystic Circle tried to get some attention in the wake of Dimmu's or Cradle's success. This is no crime, but it also does not deserve respect and the same goes for the predictably clean production. It wants to combine pompous, heavy and atmospheric sounds, but after all, it just borders on boring mediocrity. By the way, the sound is also a little bit too polished, but I guess this is no surprise for you who are probably familiar with albums of hordes such as Mystic Circle. The tragedy of these imitators is that they actually have a good grasp of music in general, but instead of doing it their own way, they submit themselves to the God of greed. But as much as I regret it, this unpleasant dude is only interested in the both aforementioned role models when it comes to more or less symphonic "black" metal. Anyway, Infernal Satanic Voices is an album with some good yet not memorable sections - and it presents every stereotype of its genre. It's neither a catastrophe nor good and it tastes slightly stale.
Rating: 5.8 out of 10