MYSTIK - Mystik LP (Black Vinyl)

MYSTIK - Mystik LP (Black Vinyl)

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Despite hailing from Sweden, Mystik’s self-titled debut album takes a very German approach to ’80s speed metal revivalism. The guitars have a hefty tone that parallels the most primordial efforts of Helloween or Blind Guardian (“Ancient Majesty,” anyone?) while the vocals recall Warlock-era Doro Pesch at her nastiest. The drum technique is also rather interesting, setting the speeds with clunky gallops that feel more reminiscent of Mikkey Dee’s work with King Diamond than Thomen Stauch or Ingo Schwichtenberg.

But one thing that really sets this album apart from similar acolytes is the production job. Such rawness is common with bands of the style, but Mystik takes it to especially claustrophobic levels as the overwhelming instruments leave the vocals in an almost whispered shrill at times. While this initially raises concern, none of the band’s power is diminished. It may even work in their favor as the constant pounding gives the songs a stormy feel that goes right in line with the darkest excursions.

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