Review

THE MEZMERIST The Innocent, the Forsaken, the Guilty

Boxset / Compilation · 2013 · Traditional heavy metal
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4/5 ·
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Mez"metal"ist

This compilation gathers the two EPs by THE MEZMERIST: "The Innocent, The Forsaken, The Guilty" and "Beg for Forgiveness, Pray for Your Life". Both were released in 1985, although the first one was initially recorded in 1983. The music is typical 80's heavy/doom metal, however with a little mystical ambiance, a kind of crossing between BLACK SABBATH, MERCYFUL FATE and HAWKWIND, and a slight punk feel on some tracks.

The first EP features the participation of BLACK SABBATH's drummer Bill Ward and is the most mesmerizing. Tommy Mezmercardo's childish falsetto voice contributes to this particular atmosphere, although his tone may not please everyone. "The Forsaken" is just an ambient spoken introduction, followed by the haunting "Dead Ones Cry No More". Alternating fast and slower passages with spacey guitar soli, this gloomy song sets the tone for the rest of the record. Very nice. "Arabian Nights" is also powerful and catchy, the most original track of the disc. "Victim Of Environmental Change" is a little more traditional heavy metal song, but remains nonetheless quite good. Mezmercardo's singing may disconcert some people, but is part of the overall ambiance.

The second EP is less mystic and gloomy than the first one, but still good. Tommy Mezmercardo abandons his childish falsetto tone in profit of a clearer voice here. More conventional, but nonetheless efficient and less cleaving. The nice opener "Kingdom Of The Dead" is pure 80's traditional doomy heavy metal, slightly epic. The best track is undoubtedly "No Family, No Friends" with its devastating riff and aggressive tune. Tommy's singing even sounds punk! As it title suggests, "The Jam Song" is mid-length instrumental jam, which is not that common in the world of metal. Despite lesser recording quality, it features cool guitar soli and bass playing.

The mystical metal approach is interesting and makes you wish THE MEZMERIST has recorded more albums to let him more develop his musical identity. Original, inspired and direct, this compilation should please 80's heavy/doom metal or even HAWKWIND fans!
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