MYSTIC WINTER: Tergiversating Blasphemies

Not much is known about this mysterious black metal band, except that they come from Indiana.  This is really raw, lo-fi stuff with an experimental edge.  If you are not into really weird, dark-sounding black metal, you might want to steer clear of this.

There are some very exciting things going on here, from the really raw production values (think early Darkthrone, Marduk kind of sounds with occasional keyboard thrown in for atmosphere), to the bleak, raw riffs coming out of the guitars.

There are also some down points, however.  At times, they let the experimental edge go a bit far (is that possible?) like on “Nomadic Tumor” where the rhythms get a bit confusing.  Are they playing in two different time signatures intentionally or is it just  . . . off? 

“Coda” is a mostly instrumental, interesting track that consists of three distinct sections: long guitar solo with lots of echo/reverb, followed by a section of full band riffing, followed by a section of ambient noise.  Somewhat ironically, the third section is the most interesting of the three.

The title track had me looking up the word “tergiversating,” as I’d honestly never heard it before, and it’s a great title considering the album’s content (nope, I’m not gonna give it to you—look it up like I had to!)  Again we hear some strange timings and the song suffers from a poor mix with the lead guitar too prominent, at the expense of the other instruments.

Overall I feel that Mystic Winter is a band that will offer some exciting things to come, though I’m afraid that Tergiversating Blasphemies might only hint at the possibilities.  It suffers from a poor mix and some unhelpful rhythmic structures, but will nonetheless appeal to fans of raw, bleak, slightly experimental black metal.

(The Bearded Dragon Productions/ Blackened Label) 2 stars out of 5

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