This one’s gonna be a short one, folks, and that’s because it mostly falls to one side of the bar.

For a Swedish black metal band, this album is a rare miss. I’ll be honest, the first two tracks on the album, I skipped right past. For some reason, the mix on this album just CRANKS the high end and it drowns out the guitars entirely, and it made the first two tracks completely unlistenable.

I really hate to see bands that I know are talented get railroaded by a bad mix. By the third track, I was interested enough in the songs to want to continue listening, but only just. I just KNOW that this band can do better. I WANT to be more interested. For example, the disk’s fourth song, “A Dreamless Void”, is fucking beautiful. It’s an instrumental, and it’s very pretty, crisp and clear. But then it moves on to “Dagon”, and it goes right back to a drowned mix, and I have 600 dollar speakers!! For the most part, the guitars are still drowned out by the fact that there’s so much high end in the mix.

Thankfully, there’s enough of the bass heard to know what’s going on, but again, it’s pretty thin. For something like this, I have to believe Mortuz had something in his head that makes this all make sense, but it’s hard for me to figure out what it was.

I say this all the time, you never want to have one guy work on every phase of the production. I’ve always had one guy mix and another guy master the disk. You just run the risk of working with deaf ears if it’s just the band through the whole thing, and this is a perfect example of that.

Like I said, I really want to like this, but with such a poor mix, I found most of it pretty intolerable. I KNOW they can do better, and I look forward to future material. But for all it’s flaws, I have to give this disk a whopping 1.5 out of 5. Sorry guys, I love the idea, but the mix just ruined it.

Shackles Of Life dropped August 31st, 2017.

FFO: Dimmu Borgir, Opeth

01. Shackles Of Life
02. Placid Drowning
03. Broken Chains
04. A Dreamless Void (Euthanasia Part 2)
05. Dagon
06. Opening Chapter To A Solitary Confinement
07. Closing Chapter

Mortuz-Denatus – Vocals, Lyrics, Keys
Phlegathon – Guitars, Lyrics
Livsnekaren – Drums
Damian – Bass

Check out Mist of Misery here:


Written by Hobbes Caltous for Bloodrock Media on September 18, 2017