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Review: Mathyr - Mandraenken

Label: Animate Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 37:53
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black/Thrash

Rating: 3/5

Review online: December 2, 2006
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating

Rated 3/5 (60%) (1 Vote)

Mathyr are a four piece hailing from Germany, whom play a mainly atavistic mid to fast paced black/death hybrid in a similar vein to Myrkskog and Aeternus. After pressing play on this their 2nd album, I am greeted with the opening riff which is highly indicative of the band listening to a lot of Satyricon's later efforts, albeit only for a few moments prior to it changing tack and swerving into very thrashy, almost Sodom-esque soundscapes while keeping the modern sound and deathly black atmospheres.

The album has a good crystal clear production too, helping the songs to come over, and to keep your attention without wanting to skip tracks. The two vocalists of the band have very differing vocals styles, one preferring a deep guttural deathly roar, the other preferring the classic blackened husky screech, both of which are utilized well together, creating differing moods for the riffs they are set over. The title track itself is the best on display here, being complete latter day Gehenna adulation, and it wouldn't look out of place on any of said bands later albums.

There are few nods to Slayer, Destruction and early Kreator here and there (not to mention stolen riffs), and some similarities to Aura Noir, and pinches of Angelcorpse too. That said, with all comparisons made, freshness isn't rife here, and they unfortunately do not come close to the splendor of any of their influences, the second half of the album specifically is pretty much run of the mill stuff. Unfortunately for them, there are 1,001 bands out their today serving up this sort of stuff, and vast quantities of them do it better than Mathyr. Although they do have the odd inventive melody or superb song arrangement, they do not come across as being particularly creatively dynamic, and therefore end up coming across as, for want of a better word – bland. I'm sure they'd be killer in a live environment, but just don't expect to be listening to this in a months time if you do decide to pick it up.

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