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Mystons - "3" (CD)

Mystons - "3" CD cover image

"3" track listing:

1. Mammoth
2. Mourning Sky
3. Man In The Wheel
4. CrusHer
5. Life In A Tomb
6. Dancing With Demons
7. Death Pills
8. Princess Of Dark
9. Gathering

Reviewed by on October 27, 2012

"On the album's best tracks, like the opener, 'Mammoth' and the bluesy 'Death Pills,' you won't miss a bass player much, but tracks like 'Mourning Sky' and 'Princess Of Dark' feel too lightweight."

Lately, rock has seen a proliferation of two-man bands in the White Stripes/Black Keys mold. Finnish act Mystons brings that approach to metal on "3," which brings both the thrills and the challenges to such a sparse lineup to light.

On the album's best tracks, like the opener, "Mammoth" and the bluesy "Death Pills," you won't miss a bass player much, but tracks like "Mourning Sky" and "Princess Of Dark" feel too lightweight.

The band features M Myston on guitar and vocals and Jay Myston on drums. M Myston's guitar parts are generally enjoyable, with the greasy slide of "Death Pills" especially standing out. "Life In A Tomb" is also quite excellent on the guitar front, in addition to featuring his best vocals.

M Myston's singing is, unfortunately, a bit hit-or-miss. The aforementioned "Life In A Tomb" works well, as does "Mammoth," but "Man In The Wheel" and especially "Dancing With Demons" have a weird vibrato that doesn't work at all.

Jay Myston's drumming is perfectly adequate, with nothing but the excellent backing percussion on the creepy closer "Gathering" really standing out. One wishes he'd been a little more adventurous — but, then again, he's having to hold down every bit of rhythm when M Myston deviates from the main riffs.

Mystons' "3," with its sparsity of sounds, has a certain raw charm. Still, some of the tracks feel a bit lightweight, and the vocals are hit-and-miss.

Highs: "Life In A Tomb," "Mammoth" and "Death Pills."

Lows: "Dancing With Demons" and "Princess Of Dark."

Bottom line: The band's raw drum-and-guitar sound doesn't always work, and the vocals are sometimes spotty. But it still has a raw charm.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)