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Mirror of Deception : Shards

Germany's Mirror of Deception, formed back in 1990, are the class of Europe's riffing doom community. Although the group's membership has shifted somewhat over the years, they've maintained a consistent vision. They've taken the lessons of the trad doom world from 'Sabbath on down and redefined the sound, bending it until it conforms to their unique insight as to what doom really means. In the process they've formed an instantly recognizable sound. There's no doubt about it: when Mirror of Deception is playing you know EXACTLY who it is. To the ears of any discerning doomster there can be few more welcome sounds.

Despite the group's long existence, 'Shards' is only their third full length. 'Mirrorsoil', from 2001, may have been a groundbreaking effort, but to these ears 'Shards' is their overall strongest disc yet. Mirror of Deception have remained true to their trademark carefully crafted riffing melancholy doom throughout, but each successive effort has been a redefinition and improvement on their sound. taking the strengths of previous tuneage and building them into a true mountain of power. The great thing about it is that it's all done with a deceptive smoothness of tone and composition: the riffs wash over you so easily that it's only when the album is over that you look around and realize that you've been stomped flat. Only doom veterans such as Victor Griffen and Wino can destroy with such finesse. 'Shards' leads off with a signature Mirror' tune, 'Haunted', full to the brim with pounding, punishing, smooth-as-silk guitar and bass with some dynamic lead and especially satisfying dual bass drum work. 'Ghost' has a fearsome chugga chugga rhythm to go with the lyrics, delivered with some nicely expressive double-tacked vocals. 'The Eruption' is dramatic and forceful, classic Mirror of Deception all the way, while 'Insomnia' is complex, progressive, and driving, with vocals that break out of the usual Mirror' sound. The instrumental 'Enigma' closes the album with sadness and grandeur, effectively summing up what Mirror of Deception is all about.

This album innovates over previous Mirror of Deception efforts mostly in the vocals, which are both roomier and more expressive than in previous efforts. Still, for those who value the mature and professional approach that the group has been perfecting for the last few years (at least on disc....nevermind about those after-gig activities...), this is a doom no-brainer. That creamy Guiness wall of guitar and bass distortion is there, the smooth bellow of the vocalists is better than ever, and the drums are both deft and in the pocket. One of the year's best, for sure. It's a great day to doom!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Haunted
2. Ghost
3. Swamped
4. The Eruption
5. Insomnia
6. Dead Pledge
7. The Capital New
8. Pyre
9. Frozen Fortune
10. Enigma

Duration : Approx. 56 minutes

Visit the Mirror of Deception bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kevin McHugh
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