SHADOWS GROUND
Mysteria Mystica Calvus Mons (2013) By xDemoNx

Shadows Ground is a three member band from the scene of Ukraine which is active since 1998 when it was formed. The band within all these years of journey in the underground scene has released five demos, two splits, two EPs and four full length albums. Well, their fourth album has the mysterious name which refers to occultism and magic, “Mysteria Mystica Calvus Mons” and it contains eight compositions of forty five minutes of overall duration. Already by the title, I understood that I am going to listen to classic Black Metal with lyrics-invocations to Satan and descriptions of the dark arts. Indeed, already by the first track which is an atmospheric introduction, the band puts the listener into the magic ritual which takes place in the dark and foggy scenery that they set with their music.

Musically, the album the album begins with a very interesting mid paced track, with nice Heavy Metal riffs which evolve into chaotic, fast tremolo, Scandinavian riffs. The rest of the album it is quite similar with fast, violent riffs and the slower parts to notice them more in slow, atmospheric passages and bridges. The tracks that follow don’t reach the level of the quality that the first track reached, but they offer a lot of beautiful moments and for sure they gain and maintain the interest of the listener. The duration of the tracks ranges from five to eight minutes while the band has done a nice job with their structure. Generally, the tracks have some changes both in the pace and the style and so they escape from the monotony of the fast riffs, as also the intense atmosphere and the feelings of fear and mystery make the compositions more interesting. So the parts that somehow tire the listener are few and they don’t manage to make him get bored.

The instruments are played without mistakes, with a lot of passion and vividness. The guitars have a harsh sound while they put out with accuracy and passion all the images and the sentiments of the compositions. The bass is almost inaudible. The lines of the drums mostly are fast with a few moments of medium and slow speed. Although they are played with stability and certainty, their negative element is their monotony as they are repetitive and they don’t have even a few changes in order to somehow stimulate the interest. The vocalist has done a very nice job concerning the vocals as he combines the harsh, raw Black Metal typical vocals with beautiful recitations or dark, weird vocals which somewhat remind of Attila. The production is clean and quite bass, it puts out a warm but at the same time dark and misty sound. Unfortunately, the mixture has buried the sound of the bass but in general it is balanced and it delivers a quite massive sound. The lyrics are not contained in the booklet of the cassette and they are written in English, while they refer to magic, occultism and Satan.

Shadows Ground is a band with many years in Black Metal and that raises my demands from them a lot. “Mysteria Mystica Calvus Mons” is a good effort but after so much of experience I would expect something better. However the album has to offer a lot of beautiful moments, intense images and emotions. The album has been released only in cassette format and in the limited number of 100 copies that I guess that will be sold out fast. The devoted fans of raw, Satanic, occult Black Metal worth to check the album out.

1. Invocation of Baphomet 02:40
2. Unholy Rituals 06:45
3. Lilith 07:14
4. I Am Hatred 07:22
5. Luna Sub Luce 04:50
6. Mysteria Mystica Calvus Mons 04:41
7. Under Black Wings of Malak al-Maut 06:59
8. Glossolalia Diabolus 04:26