Mefisto - The Megalomania Puzzle
This band has been split up since 1987, and this recording isn’t anything new or previously unreleased. In fact, this compilation was released under a different name (and cooler packaging) back in 1999. That version was called The Truth, but it’s the same music as on here. Mefisto only had two official recordings, both of which were demo tapes. The first one, released in early 1986, was called Megalomania and the second and final one was called The Puzzle, which was released later that same year. Like The Truth, The Megalomania Puzzle compiles both demo recordings onto one CD. The music on here isn’t exactly groundbreaking. It’s old-school Black/Thrash that’s heavily influenced by old Bay Area Thrash, mostly the likes of Metallica, Exodus and Slayer (the early ’80s material, obviously). It has that distinct Heavy Metal lineage that a lot of the early Thrash bands had, absorbing the NWOBHM and taking it the next logical step in terms of extremity. Though not as Punk-influenced as Venom or Bathory, Mefisto has a similar vibe. The music is somewhat primitive in style, but you can tell that these guys listened to a lot of the more melodic NWOBHM stuff because there’s elements of that present amidst the basic riffing and song structures. Of the two demo recordings, The Puzzle is noticeably a better sounding, though they aren’t all that different musically. Having already heard this stuff once before, I wasn’t exactly surprised at what this was. It’s an obscure recording that found new life when Black Metal made a resurgence back in the 1990s. People were looking for old cult recordings to draw influence from and this was one of the bands that got press because someone (might have been Euronymous or Dead) mentioned them in an interview. It’s okay for what it is, but as far as finding a hidden gem, this isn’t all that special. As a historical document it’s interesting, but it isn’t something you need to drop everything and track down. In terms of influence, Mefisto had a cult status in Sweden, but outside of that, you’d be hard-pressed to find bands that listed them as one of the bands that had a lot of impact on the early Thrash or Death Metal scenes.
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