The Glowering Facade Of Night

Mysterium - The Glowering Facade Of Night ©2000 Prophecy Productions
1. Primordium Mysteriorum
2. Where Morning Still Stays Far Away
3. Ceremony Of The Nightfall
4. The Red-eyed Wrath
5. Ode To The Dark One
6. Ere Love Sank Passing Fair
7. Cynthia's Child
8. Winter Enshrined

Hailing from Germany, Mysterium is yet another contender in the romantic doom-death metal arena with only marginally successful results. The Glowering Facade of Night is one of those type of albums that no matter how often you play it, it doesn't quite make the complete impact that it should. This is not to say the band is incompetent because they are very accomplished at their instruments and have a fair deal of inclusion of many elements to help flesh out their music. Acoustic guitars, flutes, female vocals and keyboards do create a very lush, surrounding sound that has great emphasis on mandatory heaviness and gloom. Yet I keep feeling something is missing to a small degree here. I enjoy the album to a degree, but compared to other doom artists, the feeling that it should be more moving is prevelant. This is a difficult album to fully pay attention to if you have other tasks at hand that might be competing for your notice.

My impression of this band is that they have more than enough potential to keep me interested in hearing projects in the future. Moreover, for doom metal enthusiasts, The Glowering Facade of Night is still a good record that will probably end up on your want list once some more demanding purchases are made first. Mysterium has promise and intrigue but this debut may not completely fulfill all that.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2001

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Mysterium - Soulwards ©2003 Prophecy Productions
1. Ambivalentika
2. Within Tempted Moon
3. Sirrah
4. Awaiting Thy Pentacle Aeon
5. These Mirrored 1s
6. Dreams Unfold
7. Spiral Mystery
8. Sphereflight

Mysterium sounds like they're trying to pick up right where Moonspell left off with Wolfheart. Yes, yes, I know. You are all rightfully deriding Mysterium for this particular career choice. However, it should at least be stated that Wolfheart wasn't too bad of an effort for Moonspell and the time period. When you factor in precisely how dreadful Moonspell became as they tried to be more gothy, Mysterium's choice in sound isn't quite as appalling. Granted, any metal band nowadays that tries to include the romantic/deathy gothy sound deserves only scary goth girl groupies. But Mysterium does at least a credible job of pulling it off.

Whereas Moonspell ditched most of their fringe black metal influences, Mysterium has kept them, although firmly in check. It is sort of like having a tiger around for ferocity's sake, but only letting it play with yarn once in awhile. Mysterium relies, of course, on copius amounts of keyboards, pianos and intertwining clean and raspy vocals. For those with CD collections that number over thirty CDs, chances are you've heard this sort of thing more than once. But fortunately the "moody" passages avoid being pathologically disgraceful and overbearing. On the flipside, the songs on Soulwards tend to drift and wander without keeping their bearings, so it's easy for the listener's attention to wander.

Mysterium still happens to dwell within the lower ranks of metal. They certainly aren't terrible, but both of their albums have just barely peaked beyond mediocre. If you're a raving fan of this particular style, Mysterium is a fairly decent choice, but for more discerning fans, there just isn't much point to subjecting yourself to it.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2004

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