Another fine review
Misth: Fallen From Grace (Granaten Records)
This is the sophomore release from Stockholm progressive/melodic metal band Misth. At 84 minutes in length it appeared a bit of a beast to tackle at first glance but appearances can be deceptive, and it turned out to be an enjoyable and beautifully crafted album. The background to Misth is interesting, with singer Mary Rădsten originally singing in pop band One More Time in the 1990s. Rădsten teamed up with a band called Mercury Fang, and out of the ashes of that band Misth emerged, with the current line-up comprising keyboard player Jörgen Schelander, drummer Martin Larsson, guitarists Hakén Granant and Fredrik Glimbrand and bassist Olle Boden. The band released Rise Of A New Day in 2013 and now follow that up with this rather special album. Influences which include Marillion, Dream Theater, Rush, Porcupine Tree, Katatonia and Anathema are evident from the opening track The Impossible Dream, a high energy song with a beautiful melody and feel which provides the gateway to the rest of the album. Rădsten’s powerful clean vocals immediately stand out, crystal clear and inviting; accompanied by swathes of rich keyboards and vocal harmonies which all indicate that this is something special. At times thumpingly heavy, at others delicate and sensitive, Misth have created a formula that is so often absent in the progressive field. The album hypnotises you and several spins later I am still discovering subtle details and jewels overlooked in earlier plays. Moving On is majestic and symphonic, a slight Eastern flavour similar to
the pomp of prime Rainbow whilst Fools Of Innocence contains a chunky riff which leads the dance throughout this layered track which also benefits from some rampant drumming and soaring vocals. Misth can do the soft stuff as well, with Silent Night, which opens with strings accompanying Schelander’s haunting keyboard as the track crackles with emotion before erupting into a vivacious crescendo.
Throughout Fallen From Grace the musicianship is first class, and nowhere more so than the eleven and a half minute Masquerade. Suggestions of classic melancholic Queensryche start of the track before it moves up a gear, grit and fire kicking in with a classic string accompaniment to the chugging guitars, Rădsten’s vocal performance astonishing in its power and beauty. As the pace increases, so does the quality of the playing, shades of Dream Theater and Rush [La Villa Strangiato towards the end of the track no less] as it progresses. Then a real gem in Won’t Let You Down, uplifting and magnificent harmonies on the chorus, with some superb guitar work. The album closes with Wishing Well, a Zeppelin/Rush style [Think Jacob’s Ladder] intro before another scintillating track bursts into life. I don’t know what it is about this release. Maybe it’s the progressive elements that whilst intricate aren’t over elaborate, the perfect contrast and balance or the simply incredible variation in vocal delivery but this release captivated me from start to finish. Fallen From Grace is a fantastic album and despite the length, it’s worth the investment. Stunning in every way. 9/10