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7.8/10 Chaim

MIRZADEH - Desired Mythic Pride - CD - Inverse Records - 2014

As much as we usually refrain from engaging in listening to overly melodic (cheesy), synth-driven black metal, occasionally we stumble upon a recording that dissolves all our reluctance and prejudice. Albums such as ...And Oceans' debut, Bloodthorn's Onward into Battle or Liar Of Golgotha's Ancient Wars have all reshuffled the cards and exhibited some gorgeous melodies that we simply couldn't resist thoroughly enjoying.

Now, as if from nowhere [Ed. Note: not really - the band's previous, 2006 release was covered in issue #4], comes this Finnish quintet having that strange moniker, and does it again, with utter class and finesse. Considerable time has passed since we enjoyed such a good symphonic/melodic black metal album. Too much time.

Strangely enough, Mirzadeh dubs its style of music "dark metal," but all we can hear is classic, black metal music, finely composed and excellently delivered by a bunch of musicians that know what they're doing.

The riffs are beautiful and very much engaging - every riff is a celebration for the ears. The music is delivered in a rather slow pace relatively to the fast-to-blasting velocities most of their peers are exhibiting, and that's a big plus in our book, because we like our music SLOW in most cases. In the case of the more upbeat parts, the compositions still retain their magic and inventiveness, and the whole album is pretty much cheese-free, considering how easily this band could have fallen into the pits of cheapness and corny lack of authenticity.

The music is basically heavy-metal influenced, well balancing between the metal instruments and the well-written keyboard lines that are in essence, a quintessential part of the music - Desired Mythic Pride would have never sounded so lush and engaging without the latter, that's for sure.

Mirzadeh utilizes a full ensemble of musicians, and that means a full-time drummer and a keyboardist, but in addition to sounding quite organic due to the aforementioned, they excel in simple yet effective songwriting. Even the clean vocals - a weak spot in any black/death metal recording - are well done, and overall, the vocal performance does occasionally recalls the accomplished dual-vocal approach Amorphis took on its highly acclaimed 1996 album Elegy, where deep death growls gave way to clean singing of a foreign aesthetic; but Mirzadeh's music is, in that sense, more spiritual and ethereal, and probably even more epic than the melodic doom/death metal that was displayed by Amorphis.

If you listen to Desired Mythic Pride you will meet a myriad of influences and stylistic schools, and though it is not the most challenging or the heaviest album you can find it is a fun album to enjoy for what it is, plus the keyboards performance is among the best you'll ever hear from any band out there. So whether you're a fan of the above mentioned melodic black metal prodigies, love the vocal execution captured on Elegy or dig stuff like Scheitan's Travelling In Ancient Times (originally misspelled) or Berzerk 2000, this one is very much for you. (7.8/10)


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