(Released: May 2015)
There is something refreshing about Mist. There’s no overbearing agenda, or creative pretensions – this is just great, old-fashioned doom metal. It’s like the last 30 years never happened – maybe in Slovenia they didn’t.
Originally an all-female line-up, Mist now includes a solitary male in lead guitarist Blaz Tansek, who has the look of a guy who knows he’s onto a good thing!
Mist’s uncomplicated songs of lamentation are simple but very effective. Some would call this kind of music timeless, others might less kindly consider it to be tired. We’ll stick with traditional.
Think Coven, Mourn, Left Hand Solution, Trouble, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus… think of a dustier, gloomier, coffin-bound version of Jex Thoth. These four songs represent a gloriously unrefined and unconditional love of the ancient art of doom, unhampered by modern fashions or influences.
The title track is a pleasing chugger, stylish and groovy, with an entertainingly ghostly chorus. After that, ‘Frozen Velvet’ provides a more thoughtful twist, replete with Sabbathian riff and groaning church bell. ‘Under The Night Sky’ harks back to Sacrilege’s ‘Turn Back Trilobyte’ with its gently twisting riffs, although this arrangement does not flow as naturally as the first two offerings. The fourth track, ‘Phobia’, is a re-recording of a song from the band’s repeatedly re-issued and sold-out ‘Demo 2013’, and it’s the least mature sounding on the EP.
Melodic, witch-like vocals interweave with growling riffs and grandiose choruses, although singer Nina Spruk’s higher-register moments can get a little strained. Aside from a few striking guitar solos, Mist rely heavily on plodding intensity rather than variety and it would be great to hear more subtle harmonies or layers that might add depth and character.
There are some very fine moments of originality on Mist’s ‘Inan’, though, ensuring that despite its ancient roots, the EP is as fresh as a spring flower, albeit one that grows from the soil of a decaying grave. This Ljubljana-based quintet deliver a solid balance of unassuming traditional doom and heartfelt emotional catharsis.