MYSTERY BLUE - Metal Slaves

Mystery Blue - Metal Slaves

11 songs
44:39 minutes
***** ****
Road Show


A good half year ago, I first heard of French metal institution Mystery Blue when they sent advance copies of their upcoming CD to the press. If the first impression is their loyalty to the roots of heavy metal, one shouldn't be surprised to read that Mystery Blue have been around since 1982. Of course there have been many member changes so that only guitarist Frenzy remains from the original cast, but that may be considered an advantage, as it seems to me that the new rhythm section adds a contemporary sound that makes this much more than just a sound clone of earlier times, and of course vocalist Nathalie who re-enacts the times of the metal sirens. In times where most (male) metal vocalists seem to have the same operatic voices, it's refreshing to hear someone like Nathalie, whose talent can be compared to the grande dame of metal Ann Boleyn of Hellion fame.

Metal Slaves starts out with an instrumental opener where the singer plays the didgeridoo instead, and if you are expecting a more alternative sound now, don't be afraid, because the following 10 songs combine the best of 80ies speed metal (and I mean speed metal they way it was back then) with the more solid rhythms of contemporary times. Songs like Angel and Roller Coaster Ride made already a strong impression on the advance tape, but the other songs, like the fast opener Slave To Blood or the lyrically cliché-laden Metal Dream, are just as good. In fact, only the lyrics are not up to par, as English isn't their first language (not as it were mine), but while listening to the music, you won't even notice and shouldn't disturb too much.

All in all, Metal Slaves is a great album, just what we expected after the excellent advance, and I hope that this album will not go unnoticed outside of France. Fans of forgotten heroes like Agent Steel and Helstar but also of more popular bands like Judas Priest are sure to appreciate this piece of purest metal. 9 points.

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