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Review: Mystic Circle - Open the Gates of Hell
Mystic Circle
Open the Gates of Hell

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 34:24
Tracks: 11
Genre: Black/Death

Rating: 4/5

Review online: October 2, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Open the Gates of Hell

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)

Sixth full-length from these German guys who play Blackened Death Metal in the general vein of Belphegor, Forest Of Impaled, or God Dethroned. I was surprised that I had not heard of this band, considering they have been around for over a decade. I guess they haven't made as much of an impact on this side of the Atlantic, which is a shame, as this is a very cool CD.

One thing I like about the various Death/Black hybrids is that there is usually not any keyboard wankering or other wussy shit like that. You just get the edge and aggression of Death Metal with the attitude and misanthropy of Black. Well Mystic Circle are no exception, and in a year when such luminaries as God Dethroned have sold out and gone all sissy on us, it's refreshing to hear a band that only wants to hurt you. Mystic Circle are all about brutal, thrashing riffs and screaming torment. With killers like "Satanic Rituals", the cool title cut, and the hooky "Book of Shadows" it's clear Mystic Circle are taking no frigging prisoners. The one real anomaly here is "Wings Of Death", which is a more melodic song with some keys and very good female vocals on the chorus (the voice sounds mighty familiar, but I can't place it) I would peg this as something they only cooked up to get radio airplay (especially with the 'single version' included as a bonus track) except that it's a very good song anyway, and makes no compromises lyrically. Ok, maybe a little, but anyone who buys this just for the advance single is in for a first-class ass-kicking.

The album opener and "Deadly Ghosts" are instrumental nothing tracks that I would rather were not here, but that's really the only complaint I can level at this disc. For brutal Black/Death Metal these guys get it done right, and this is a very solid CD with no filler cuts. The package is a digipack, which I'm not fond of, but the cover art is suitably bloody and demonic, and the lyrics make Morbid Angel look like Sunday school teachers. Mystic Circle are aggressive, vicious and brutal as fuck. Recommended.

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