Strong start but runs out of puff
Mystic Circle don't waste time. Formed in 1997, this German concoction of black and death metal have released six albums since then, with their latest album, The Bloody Path Of God, chalking it up as album number seven. Barely the same band since their inception, sole original member vocalist/bassist Beezlebub is joined by guitarist Ezpharess, and drummer Necrodemon (who first appeared on their 2001 album Damien) for this album.
After the obligatory intro track, titled Psalm Of The End, things kick off with a frantic pace via the album's title track, The Bloody Path Of God - a dark, brutal mix of technical, death metal guitar work laced with tasteful yet minimal keyboards that provide silky strains of black metal overtones which give the song (and the album too for that matter) a solid starting platform. The sweeping arpeggio riff that carries Doomsday Prophecy makes for another clear winner which is further emphasize by the injection of clean passages that reprise the track's melodic intro. Nine Plagues Of Egypt mixes thrash laced riffs with black metal tinges, unlike the staccato nature of The Grim Reaper and the full tilt death metal assault of Riders Of The Apocalypse.
The disjoint nature of Hellborn leaves the track lacking some of the punch that has been forthcoming to this point, whilst Church Of Sacrifice can be put into the “heard it all before” basket as it exhibits very similar riff styles at times that were just heard in Hellborn. In fact, it feels like one song was split into two and it quite simply falls flat. Things get a little back on track with the straight forward attack of The Forgotten but it too looks weak when put up against the relentless black metal blast of Unholy Terror. The obligatory clean guitar outro Memento Mori should round out the album, but that is undone by their less than menacing cover of Celtic Frost's Circle Of The Tyrants.
Mystic Circle isn't shy of releasing new product. That's for sure. The Bloody Path Of God isn't a bad album but by the same token, it's nothing outstanding either. Whilst The Bloody Path Of God starts off strong, it soon falls flat just past halfway and really doesn't recover from that point on as the songs themselves lack any kind of memorable traits. The album's waning strength soon leaves it smack bang in mediocre territory that might leave a few wondering what could have been with this one.
(Dockyard 1 Records/Riot! Distribution)