Author: Felix Sale
(Encore Records/Vic Records, 2001/2017)
#FOR FANS OF: Black/Death
Here I have my review of an offering called 'Profanus'. This record is the fourth full-length studio album released by Brazil's Mystifier in 2001 under Encore Records. This coming November 24th 2017, the album will be re-issued by Vic Records with bonus tracks of Mystifier's 'Wicca' and 'Göetia' albums. I first heard of this band way back 2010, as I stumbled upon their sophomore full-length offering 'Göetia'. I dig that album a lot because of its dark and clandestine vibe, and its raw unrelenting assault on the listeners' ears. 'Profanus', however, falls short in both those categories.
Now I actually can stand listening to 'Profanus', but it just doesn't have the right amount of elements that made me admire Mystifier's first three studio releases and early demos. This album, although strongly in the black and death metal rank, holds several good classic heavy metal touches and thrash metal fragments. It has a number of decent thrash rhythm riffs and melodic traditional metal leads, and the album's tunefulness even has those Iron Maiden-influenced riffs thrown into the mix. Even the guitar solos are acceptable due to its dusky and ditty dispatch.
The bass is pretty clear on the album, no question to that. We can also observe that there are numerous fair amounts of blast-beats present in each song in here. I also would like to praise that vocal performance which is a good mixture of death metal growls and high pitched black metal screams. Except for "Beyond the Rivers of Hades" and "Superstitious Predictions of Misfortune", as those two has a clear power metal and dingy pitch vocal parts. But even those two tracks are both satisfying and entertaining.
We can also listen to keyboards in certain sections of the album. The keyboards provided are tolerable, but they lack of that dark and concealed feeling. The guitars, bass, drums, and the vocals are all fine to me. They pack enough force that catches the attention of the audiences. But the goth-sounding keyboard section is what doesn't really convince me about this release. I deem it weak, and it does not offer that level of spookiness that adds an atmospheric effect which you can find in early releases like 'Wicca' and 'Göetia'. Those two mentioned records by the Brazilian ensemble have that eerie keyboard sections similar to Emperor’s 'In the Nightside Eclipse'.
If the band had stuck with their relentless and bleak music disposition, like what they had done with the previous records, this release might have been more influential and compelling. Again, I want to be clear that I am entertained by this offering. Unfortunately, it just doesn't give me that same inkling impact that Mystifier's old recordings did.
To conclude, Mystifier come up with a fairly good record on 'Profanus'. Most of the instruments and the elements in the album -- except the keyboard part -- are appeasing, were well played and well performed. Loyal fans of the band can find this appealing, considering the catchy guitars, relevant drum blast beats, and suitable vocal haulage. Sad to say that for me, 'Profanus' just isn't that imposing and striking as the band's past materials. Well, at least the keyboards here aren't as lame as Dimmu Borgir's keyboard playing, where they play just for the sake of inserting a keyboard section on their music.