|Mirror of Deception hail from the "titan forests of Southern Germany", an all-important fact to remember. Miskatonic, their record label, compares them to renown bands such as Solstice (UK) and While Heaven Wept (USA), as well as placing their original musical influence in bands such as Black Sabbath, Candlemass and Saint Vitus, arguably some of the greats of this rather indiscernible genre. According to Miskatonic's own write-up however, Mirror of Deception have since carved out their own distinctive niche, using their original and wholly unmistakable style. I on the other hand, would beg to differ somewhat.|
My personal opinion leads me to say that the only style they do incorporate into their rather monotonous "elevator" music is bland and indistinguishable from a plethora of other bands. One word I would not assign to it is "memorable". The majority of the songs on this CD are based on the same riff, taking the phrase "less is more" to hitherto unexplored dimensions, and not necessarily in a constructive manner either.
The vocals, easily described as droning, monotonous and bland, much like the music they're pitted against, leave a lot to be desired. In terms of a description, try and imagine a cross between a mediocre goth-rock vocalist and a hoover. The vox are simultaneously erroneous in their setting; throughout the CD, they remain clear, and the near (miss) melodic interaction of two strained voices does not serve to complement the music they've been superimposed upon, but merely to highlight the extent to which the music and vocals battle against each other. If you do happen upon this CD, you will find in time that the lyrics also leave room for improvement. The words become one long - you guessed it - monotonous drone. This is not, contrary to popular belief, considered to be doom, but a rather debauched attempt at it. In light of some of the not-so-enlightening lyrics however, this could be a blessing; "what I hoped for/disbaned in haze/looking out for a sign in maze/a leap in the dark". Something makes me suspect that the good ol' folks of MoD. were simply looking for rhyming words, and didn't do a top job there either. Do I have any volunteers for the job of translator?
And whilst on the subjects of diction, I would call into question the rather risqué song titles as well, particularly that of track 5, 'Be Kept in Suspense'... and that's an order, minion.
At certain points, the rhythm and (infrequent) riff changes seem rather on the inappropriate side of things. A good example of this is the ABA style of track 2, 'Veil of Lead'. The sandwich in the middle, B, is completely out of place in the strong, steady, thoroughly trad-doom rhythm established in the initial and terminal parts of the song. You'll find this spasmodically interrupted by an up-beat, stoner-rockish lilt that disappears as fast as it pops up from out of the blue. Likewise, the ending is as much of a surprise, again not necessarily a particularly good one; it's somewhat reminiscent of a prog-rock accident with a synth-keyboard. Oops. But leaving individual tracks aside, the ending of the CD as a whole is non-descript. It leaves the listener wondering where the end of the last track wandered off. Suspense? I doubt it.
Having said all this, MoD. have stuck it out since 1993, the year that heralded their first release, artistically named 'Mirror of Deception Demo'. And despite my blatant dislike of this album, I have to admit that I found myself humming along to a couple of the riffs on one or two occasions. But to balance out that unforgivable lapse of concentration, I can safely say that not one lyric had an impact on me in any way, shape or form, and the music didn't even come close to invoking anything resembling an emotive response.
2. Veil of Lead
5. Be Kept in Suspense
6. Dreams of Misery
Duration : Approx. 44 minutes
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