Mysticum - In the Streams of Inferno

Posted on Wednesday, May 01, 2013

I don’t care how much trouble I get into with the kvlt police, I’ve never heard Mysticum’s 1996 debut in its entirety until now, with this reissue. Full Moon Productions only pressed about 11 copies of the fucking thing, and having heard unimpressive bits and pieces of it from friends over the years, I didn’t really feel the need to ever hunt one down. But we’ll get into that later. For now, here’s what else I vaguely remember about this Norwegian trio:

  • They did a split with Ulver before that band started making background music to accompany Yoga.

  • Hellhammer was a member for about 8 minutes.

  • This LP was originally intended for release on Euronymous’ Deathlike Silence label, but Varg had other plans.

  • Whoever programmed the drum machine had no fucking clue what the hell they were doing.

  • They had a forgettable cut on FMP’s A Tribute to Hell: Satanic Rites comp (included as a bonus track here, along with “Black Magic Mushrooms” from the 2003 split with Audiopain).

  • This is the type of band that writes songs called “Black Magic Mushrooms.”

That’s all I’ve got. Sorry, I was busy listening to real Black Metal. Spinning this album nearly two decades later, it’s clear to me why they never put out a follow-up. The only thing these guys had going for them was that sweet-ass band logo. That’s probably the sole reason everyone still pretends to like this. I mean, honestly, this is fucking horrible. You constantly see the same words used to describe this noise: “Cold.” “Eerie.” “Bleak.” “Ugly.” How about, “Weak”? “Lame”? “Irritating”? “Garbage”? Sounds more like it to me. Seriously, who programmed this drum machine? It sounds like varying speeds of raindrops on an awning. The guitars do achieve that golden-age-of-Second-Wave necro sound, but can I get a memorable riff, please? If you could isolate the barely audible synths, they might make a decent Beherit intro. The vocals aren’t anything special. Just basic BM cackling. There’s really nothing here to warrant the “cult classic” status this annoying clamor has undeservedly garnered. It’s nice of Peaceville to reassure me that I haven’t been missing out on shit. I did not receive this reissue’s bonus DVD, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t have watched it. It’s most likely an hour-long documentary about the drawing of the logo. Face it, you only like this because no one else does.

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