Brazil to me represents the epicentre of a true Metal fan, I don’t so much mean true in the sense of a ‘death to false Metal’ manner but rather true in terms of one whom has taken their time to analyse Metal. Starting with the obvious we have Sepultura a band who have broken from the underground to a rather wider appeal which has reflected in the bands newer less desirable material. Looking deeper we find the mighty Sarcófago a band relentlessly ahead of their time and equally Krisiun and Vulcano, all have played their part in cementing the Extreme within the heart of Brazil and made the country a hotspot for thriving Metal. With them they have brought a sound which is surely unmistakable to the trained ear, one that represents Brazilian Extreme Metal.
Today we come to talk about another underground legend of the Brazilian scene, the Occultist warriors Mystifier. For those who are unaware the band formed in 1989 yet didn’t come to release their debut Wicca until 1992, something which has probably seen the band fly beneath the radar of many. That said their fanbase has remained strong and is ever-expanding. The band went on to release a further slew of full lengths between 1993 to 2001. Now we close the eighteen year gap with Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia which is put out through Season Of Mist Underground Activists. Can this album measure up to the dizzy heights of the bands early period or will it be the downfall of giants?
The titular opener is a rousing introduction not only to the album but the band also. Adopting ritualistic elements and merging them with a purist Blackened Death Metal vibe evokes a great sense of black magic, witchcraft and the dark arts, a release perfectly accompanied with a delectable glass of red and wafts of incense. There is a definite grandeur which follows, spellbinding guitars which are laced with a sort of NWOBHM flare at times summon images of great altars and mysticism whilst the varied vocals recite the tomes of the deceased like dusty rasps of unhallowed desire. In fact Witching Lycanthropic Moon is a prime example of the vocal power, expressing legible mysterious splutters that add a dare I say Symphonic, sort of theatrical air and aid in the growth of this release.
Now we’ve covered the overall sound but as I have said many times before this can often result in the loss of memorability. I am pleased to say that this is certainly not the case in Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia, Soultrap Sorcery Of Vengeance springs to mind with its continuing theatrics and classic Metal undertones within the guitar work. Quite frankly this is about as real as Brazilian Extreme Metal gets, a homage to the ways of old but with a modern twist that separates it from the household names of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. It is clear that Mystifier have a vision and this release truly sees this prophecy come alive. Continuing with similar themes is (Introcucione D’La Melodia Mortuoria) Thanatopraxy a thoroughly epic number with plenty of face melting moments and crushing notes that tie the later part of this album together perfectly.
To finish up I would say that this album certainly measures up to the standard of the early underground classics of Wicca and Göetia and is absolutely worth the eighteen year wait. Here’s hoping that this album influences a new generation of fans not only in Brazil but the world over. If you’ve delayed listening to Mystifier in the past then delay no further this is real Metal, pure and true. Take this as a tome of exactly how Extreme Metal should sound and worship it with great admiration and praise, albeit to the grim forces of the underworld.
(8/10 George Caley)