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Review: The Mezmerist - The Innocent, the Forsaken, the Guilty
The Mezmerist
The Innocent, the Forsaken, the Guilty

Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
Year released: 2013
Originally released in: 1985
Duration: 35:25
Tracks: 7
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: December 15, 2013
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
The Innocent, the Forsaken, the Guilty

Rated 3/5 (60%) (6 Votes)

The Innocent, The Forsaken, The Guilty is a compilation of sorts, courtesy of Shadow Kingdom Records, and comprises the known output of the obscure American band, The Mezmerist. Active for an indeterminate amount of time in the 80s, the band originally issued a lone 4-song EP that featured none other than on again, off again Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward. This reissue adds three unreleased songs to the four from the original EP, the later songs featuring different bass and drum players.

The Innocent, The Forsaken, The Guilty is pure 80s with a simple recording; no multi-tracking and only basic effects like echo. Musically, there are definitely Doom elements, like the slow tempo and prominent bass lines of "Dead Ones Cry No More," as well as early Mercyful Fate, which can mostly be heard in the high-pitched singing of vocalist/guitarist Tommy Mezmercardo. He sounds an awful lot like King Diamond or, perhaps, factoring in the Doom, Tim Baker from Cirith Ungol. Shadow Kingdom calls this "the definition of a lost gem" which I think is overstating things. There are some decent songs, like the aforementioned "Dead Ones Cry No More" and "Arabian Nights," but this release also includes an overly long and far too melodramatic spoken-word opener ("The Forsaken") and an 8-minute instrument jam (creatively called "The Jam Song") that is really dull. And while much of The Innocent, The Forsaken, The Guilty is closely allied with 80s US Metal and the NWOBHM, there's a lot of the wild, unfocused attitude of Punk on "No Family, No Friends" so the song sounds a bit like The Sex Pistols.

I love when labels reissue old, obscure stuff and applaud Shadow Kingdom along with High Roller, Ektro and others. The Mezmerist, however, is really a mixed bag. Fans of Mercyful Fate and Cirith Ungol will certainly hear things to their liking but I'm not sure The Mezmerist will appeal to many outside those potentially small circles.

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