Reviews : Albums : Misteltein, "Divine.Desecrate.Complete"

Misteltein, "Divine.Desecrate.Complete"
No Fashion Records
2001, No Fashion Records
Misteltein, "Divine.Desecrate.Complete"

Sweden's Misteltein burst from the stereo with a vitriolic black metal attack titled Divine.Desecrate.Complete. The music, aptly described by the press sheet, is a fast, slick mix of current Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth style symphonic, theatrical black metal. Many of the songs employ the choral gimmicks and somewhat cheesy synthesizers that are now earmarks for a Dimmu Borgir CD, yet Misteltein manages to play with more conviction (read: they aren't as singly motivated by money). One can hear the Cradle of Filth influence in tracks like "Excruciate the Virgin Dream" or "Forsaken Emperor" where the band opens up a buzz saw style thrash groove in the middle of things. This explosive aspect is possibly the band's biggest asset?thought they don't really capitalize on it enough since it's used more often as a bridge than as a central riff.

The two main problems with Divine.Desecrate.Complete are that this style of music has been done before, and if you are after the best in the business, just buy a Cradle of Filth disc, and the second is that Misteltein hasn't really worked all the bugs out of their compositions. Most use the song's best riff only once, leaving five full minutes of mediocre Dimmu Borgir worship. The only song that's totally solid is "Thy Kingdom Cum" because the band holds on to that destructive riff and wears it the fuck out. The most perfect example of Misteltein's poor judgement appears on "Entwined" where they entirely forsake the song's best riff after only a minute and a half, opting to play something that would have been cut from a recent Immortal CD. It's a shame these guys don't spend a little more time arranging their songs better, because with a little more pre-recording time, Divine.Desecrate.Complete could have been the black metal album of the year. Truthfully, though, it doesn't stand a chance against Cradle of Filth's Damnation and a Day (which I'm going to put on right now!).

Standout Tracks

   Thy Kingdom Cum

Peter Johnston