For the past couple months I’ve been surrounded by death/doom bands. Probably from my buddy Ben’s YouTube episode about overlooked death/doom bands. Most of them are hailing from the 90’s which is probably because that’s when this genre really flourished, but I find myself coming back to them more and more. I think it’s because I’m mildly obsessed with bands that strike that perfect balance between the two genres, because if you’ve read this blog before, you know a lot of death/doom bands fall more to one side of that equation. Not that that has any bearing on the quality but when a band truly mixes the two, and mixes them well, it’s an awesome sound, and truly it’s own genre. Mystic Charm pulled off such a sound with their one and only full-length Shadows of the Unknown in 1994.
You know I love a band that can get across something amazing in one album and then call it quits leaving that one remarkable artifact to retain it’s majesty, untainted for eternity, and that’s this album. It’s a perfect blend of death metal, mostly, obviously, the guitars and vocals and while the pacing is really what brings the doom overtones, the band lurks in a nasty, evil presence and atmosphere that without would probably leave them as a run of the mill death metal band. The addition of atmospherics via acoustic guitars and organs/keyboards, while subtle, really help push that doom environment.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Rein Doze and her killer vocals. More rooted in a death metal style, she perfectly fills out the sound and isn’t so loud it separates from the music, it feels more engrained in the songs and part of the natural flow. It works wonders.
A good death/doom album can move the earth. This one does.