Mediøkrist are a six piece metalcore band hailing from the Northrhine-Westphalia region of Germany and are set to release their debut album “Traumwelt” which translates as “Dreamworld”. Although the release is not intended to be a ‘concept’ album in the traditional sense, there is an overarching conceptual theme/idea which ties all the tracks together. The band’s name itself ‘Mediøkrist’ translates to mean “Average Person” and with the title of the album, as mentioned before translating to “Dreamworld”, we get this six-piece metalcore band’s views on self-realization and identity in the modern world and how society, media and the environment all fit in. Basically, it’s that old meme; “First World Problems” in musical form… And in German, a language I cannot speak, ergo cannot accurately translate or relate to the lyrics… First World Problems indeed.
To start with, we get the ambient synth opening track which is mandatory these days in metalcore, and true to form, it goes nowhere, not even linking up to the following track “Monochrom” which gets the ball rolling. Fast paced, fierce and packing a punch with its tone, it ticks the boxes required of a metalcore track. It’s not remarkable or noteworthy, it’s just modern metalcore – elements of a stomping groove, harsh vocal delivery, synth based augmentation in the choruses, the ease-off before big push solo and ending run… It’s just what it is, a track to introduce you to the band properly.
There are moments where the more electronic/synth inspired side of the band’s sound shines through. “Median” is one of those tracks and the resemblance it bears to bands like Enter Shikari is rather startling. Despite the grandiose synth-based arrangements, it near enough follows the exact same formula; hard hitting and aggressive verses and slower melodic orientated choruses, whilst it sounds solid for this style of music, it is rather bland. Title track “Traumwelt” follows in the same vein but more akin to veteran Teutonic metallers Pyogenesis. It has an ‘uplifting’ feel to it in parts, but again, cutting and hard riffs, hammering breakdowns with chugging guitars and screaming harmonics and plenty of carefully crafted melodic moments. It is one of the slightly more interesting moments on the album, but so far, the opening is rather tame.
“Katharsis” is a turning point in the album. With shades of Vision of Disorder in the way the song comes across, it’s more attention getting than previous tracks. Rhythmically solid and vocally expressive, blending harsh screams and melodic cleans together in layers, it really shines out and shows signs of promise. From this track onwards, more of the band’s ability seems to shine through and the over-reliance on the synth elements to create a bigger sound seems to subside slightly. “Hypokrisie” is your typical modern metalcore number which needs no real elaboration, “Neo Homo Superior” sounds like a terrible effort at industrial influenced metalcore and “Spiegel” is a generic Teutonic tinted thrash attack with metalcore flavourings, bland and predictable in all ways. It is only with the closing track “Exitus” do we finally find the band managing to nail that delicate ratio of synth to metalcore in terms of creating a dynamic musical environment which responds to the instrument and vocal content of the song. It is a case of better late than never with regards to a decent sounding synth-metalcore track, but it’s still lacking compared to other bands who deliver this style.
In all, with a band whose name embodies the notion of average, “Traumwelt” is the embodiment of average. If this was the concept or idea the band had in mind, then they nailed it with this slice of rather uninspiring and bland synth-augmented metalcore. There is some potential in Mediøkrist but it is buried deep beneath the surface and will take some serious digging in order to bring it out.