Review: Faust – … boje i note…

Faust – … boje i note… (RnR Records)
Review by Milos Sebalj

A short history lesson for the start. Northernmost part of Serbia, called Vojvodina, used to be a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of the Great War, and the collapse of the empire itself. Even though the Habsburgs inhabited the region with Serbian refugees fleeing from the Ottomans, the region itself remained populated by a whole lot of different nationalities, even to this day. So, the demographic situation in Vojvodina is still very much heterogeneous. As we are mostly interested in music, let me just explain how does this affect our favorite pass-time. Serbia is a fairly centralized country, so it takes a whole lot of effort for a band residing outside Belgrade or Novi Sad to get some recognition. Seeing how Faust is a band from a city of Subotica, at the border between Serbia and Hungary, they had a difficult job getting the necessary support from their domestic scene. Add to that the fact that their members are of Hungarian descent and you get a band that is neither Serbian, nor Hungarian. As such, Faust fails to have a “legendary” status that most of the bands who are close to entering the fourth decade of existence mostly achieve. A pity for sure, but that fact will surely not stop the music, and music is exactly where Faust is at their home ground.

When I mentioned the band’s age you have surely guessed they cannot be dealing with any kind of modern sound. And you have guessed right. Faust is a pure-blooded Hard Rock band. They have their Heavy Metal moments, but when you take an overview, you cannot but think of Deep Purple or Rainbow. Just listen to that vocal. Mister Tibor Cindric is a singer who could have easily filled the shoes for Dio, for instance. His deep voice might as well have an operatic upbringing. Excellent work! The lyrics, covering your basic genre topics, are also his work, and though they are not exactly high-class poetry, they get the job done. Plus, they are written in three languages, Serbian, Hungarian and English. As for the musical background, it is neatly packed, which is to be expected from a highly experienced group of musicians with serious skills in handling their instruments. Faust’s songs are mostly driven by genre specific hard riffing and keyboard melodies, while the rhythm section holds the tempos firmly in place with just occasional bravado to showcase that the guys are not serving just as a ‘spine’. On the other hand, the drummer Attile Toth is responsible for composing the entire album, so he deserves way more credit than just thumping on the drum set.

One of the most important factors with such music has always been ‘the hit song’. “… boje i note…” has a couple of those for sure. Memorable choruses will definitely help Faust’s live performances. The typical arrangements still hold the Hard Rock values established back in the ‘70s and create a feeling that, while all too familiar, still fits with such songs. The production is probably the one thing that places this album among those recorded in this century. Luckily, Faust did not fall for the traps brought by the modern polishing equipment, so the record still carries enough soul on it.

Now, this album will probably not get Faust the recognition they deserve. ‘The oldest of schools’ approach is certainly not the most popular nowadays. However, Faust did create a very good record which should appeal to most of the fans of the mentioned bands and such music in general. And there are plenty of those people. Just try and look beyond your local cover bands and sneak a peek outside your home town. Nor only Faust, there are a lot of hidden gems waiting to become your new heroes.


Review: Mystik – Mystik

Mystik – Mystik (I Hate)
Review by Steve Thomas-Green

When it comes to life, in general, I don’t tend to look back… I very rarely dwell on the past… except when it comes to music.

Don’t get me wrong, I love discovering new bands and new forms of music, but when it comes to Metal, there’s not a lot that can beat the 80s…. actually, there’s nothing than can beat the 80s.

Rewind to 1985, and Channel 4, in the UK, hosted a tv show every week that featured four live Metal bands… in amongst the more established acts such as Motorhead and Venom, were a young German act called Warlock, who were in the UK to play a show in support of their new album, Hellbound.

Now, the reason for this intro, is because when I first played this album, I was immediately transported back to that time, when the 18 year old version of me was transfixed by Doro Pesch and her merry band of Metallers…

If you love the first couple of Warlock albums, then you’ll love Mystik, who are fronted by Doro sound-a-like, Julia Von Krusenstjerna… the big difference though, from the days of Warlock, is that, at the time of recording, Mystik had three ladies in their ranks… since this album was recorded, guitarist, Lo Wikman, has left the band.

The comparison with Warlock is meant as a huge compliment and I also detect an affinity with the likes of (early) Mercyful Fate, musically, at least, and probably the debut from Pretty Maids as well.

In essence, that part of the 80s has been transported to the present day and has been injected with a new lease of life. Because although this album reminds me of that time, it doesn’t sound dated at all…

The Metal World needs more albums like this. While Metal splinters off into a multitude of not very Metal sub-genres, this is a perfect example of how a Metal album should sound. Heads down, Speed/Heavy Metal, with just a hint of the occult.

Definitely my favourite album of the year, so far.