Mystic Circle – Erzdämon

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German black metal outfit Mystic Circle continues to push its classic melodic sound to newer standards, ever since the band released its self-titled comeback album “Mystic Circle” the founding members Beelzebub and Blackwar wandered through creative muse. The 9th album “Erzdämon” out on March 17th, 2023 via Fireflash Records delivers a powerful haunting piece of the ’90s inspiration. Although the 9th album marks the pinnacle of success in the band’s musical career the songs combine rich orchestral elements with fierce vocals and catchy rhythms.

The demonic aura is perfectly emphasized in the opening track “Erzdämon” where the guitars inject tons of melodic hooks, and heavy power chord riffs bringing the aesthetics of the band to the forefront. The riffing is quite powerful and relentless there is in fact plenty of influence from heavy metal and the result is tight and highly evolved musicianship. The band reaches its absolute climax as each of the nine tracks is fueled with dynamics fusing the mid-tempo parts to craft a perfect fusion of haunting melodies aiming for symphonic orchestral passages and infectious lead guitars. “From Hell” offers varied song structures however as purely melodic and symphonic at times Mystic Circle manages to create a sense of sublime grandeur.

Erzdämon” is a real work of menace, and it is as fierce and brutal as its predecessor, but the duo has injected tons of melodic hooks by staying true to their sound. The excellent composition has progressed into creative ideas offering majestic moments that maintain profuse melodic appeal to the songs, the drums create a huge reverb, and they sound brutal, fast, and straightforward at times. The use of the synth creates a gloomy atmosphere and the guitars drive the music hence, Mystic Circle has broadened the scope of their songwriting to newer heights. The duo enfolds superb lead guitar sections and the explosion of the drums is massively layered with the demonic shrieks.

Galloping guitars and fast-paced tempos run amok Mystic Circle keeps the focus on mind-blowing song craft. However on “Unholy Trinity” the drumming shifts into immense pace with blast beats being emphasized and tremolos evoking the hellish grandeur the keyboards add plenty of bombastic elements. The guitar work comes galloping alongside the drums and there are plenty of heavy guitar lines providing uncompromising aggression. “The Scarecrow” offers memorable and atmospheric phrases capturing every subtle detail of the keyboards and the guitar-laden hooks. The blazing tremolos enhance the menacing atmosphere and while the keyboards are shrewdly used they create a beautiful contrast between the demonic shrieks.

Asmodeus And The Temple Of God” which is full of venomous displays of haunting crescendos, this song sets itself apart from the previous tracks by the symphonic opening of the chorale before the drums launch into blast beats. Menacing guitar riffs sounding evil combined to create a perfect chilling effect, despite the mid-paced tempo the guitar arrangement is extremely distorted and heavy. “Welcome To The Midnight Mass” puts the emphasis on mid-tempo the drums complement the melodic guitar riffing, and the track is rather slow compared to the other songs. Mystic Circle’s 9th album is well-crafted as the songs sound dark, aggressive, and melodic the duo managed to find a balance between the aggressive and the sublime atmospheric sections.

The Mothman” veers into the more orchestral and gloomy spectrum of black metal, the use of beautiful orchestral arrangements makes this song one of the highlights of the album. While operatic in scale, the rhythm guitars and the sweeping choral add a touch of grandeur. In terms of quality Mystic Circle offers an outstanding performance that easily makes “Erzdämon” their best album to date hence, conjuring memories of bands like Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir and Old Man’s Child. The majority of the songs on the album are heavier and more intense than what the band achieved on their comeback album and there are even some cinematic qualities showcasing a new matured facet in the songwriting.

Skinwalker” features a grand keyboard scale and showcases furious blast beats and technical riffs giving the song a fresh unique sound and the focus on the technical guitars and the double bass drums. The most notable aspect of the album is the use of the choirs to create a haunting demonic feel. Mystic Circle mixes dark atmospheric themes with catchy guitar riffs and melodic textures, the duo attains a sinister feel throughout the album and the symphonic elements beautifully juxtapose the powerful guitar lines.


  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 9/10

Erzdämon” is a stepping stone for the German duo. The album has a different flair and tone that truly brings something fresh to the fans. This is definitely one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, if you want some quality black metal then I recommend you check this majestic piece of demonic music.

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