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Album Review

Mystic Charm “Shadows Of The Unknown” [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

atavist   7/26/2022   12-inch, A Library

album cover artwork for Shadows of the Unknown by Mystic Charm

Slow- to mid-tempo doom with deathy elements, a pummeling march laden with a bit of atmosphere. There’s nothing extra. Riffs are laid down purposefully like chiseled stones to raise a rough-hewn tower from which the evil in this world can more clearly be seen. Earlier this year Nuclear War Now! Productions released this double LP, consisting of material recorded in 1994, 2001, and 2017. It takes its name and album cover artwork from the band’s only full-length release from 1994. In the middle of Side C, with the track “Hell Did Freeze Over”, the 2017 EP “Hell Did Freeze Over” begins. The “Hell Did Freeze Over” stuff was originally recorded in 2001, but the remaining band members working on it were dissatisfied with the result, so they brought back the original vocalist, Rini Lipman, in 2017 and completed it properly… A circuitous route for this double LP, to be sure. I suspect the effort was made because this group from the Netherlands, as sporadic as their output was over the years, were on to something. The vocals of Lipman in particular are exceptionally evil and paved the way for those who dared to follow. Where the 1994 tracks are raw and spare, the 2001/2017 tracks demonstrate additional refinement. Lipman’s vocals are maybe a bit more evil, and a different drummer ups the technical mastery. The tracks named after the releases are intro tracks, but otherwise you can drop in anywhere for a consistent execution of no-frills death-doom. FCCs tracks D1 and D3.

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