From humble beginnings in Sogndal, Norway by bandmates Espen Bakketeig and Andre Raunehaug, with Stian Bakketeig joining shortly thereafter, Mistur is a superband of sorts with talented musicians from bands including Vreid, Windir, Cor Scorpii and more. From their early demo, the band had something special, which became more apparent with their critically-acclaimed 2009 debut album Attende.
Seven years later, the band is back with a new vocalist in Oliver Øien and a new drummer in Tomas Myklebust and their latest opus, In Memoriam, a collection of six tracks meant to melt the faces of even the most tough listeners. The shortest tracks clock in and over seven minutes, so the band like the longer songs, but there is never a wasted moment in the tracks. They are filled with complexity and depth that few bands offer.
“Downfall” opens up innocently enough until the band joins in and crushes it. As the track gets deeper in, it becomes more and more intense with some great guitar work highlighting the entire run of the song. Oliver Øien’s ever-present vocals are so strong and in your face that the listener cannot help but feel like they are a part of the music.
“Distant Peaks” is another amazing track, but much more frenetic with its pace. The song never slows down, but offers so many highs during its run-time. Even the brief respite that the track offers turning quickly right back into controlled chaos.
“Firstborn Son” has the best riffs of the album hands down. The frequent tempo changes emphasize the riff work even more. “Matriarch’s Lament” goes the other route with some of the best melodic guitar lines on the entire album.
At the end of the day, we knew that Mistur would be back with a vengeance even though crucial members of the band have been replaced. Bands like this will always have that because this is their part-time gig and all of the members have to find openings in their schedules that work for all members. Oliver Øien turns out to be a perfect fit and the band is better for it.
Mistur – In Memoriam Tracklisting
1. Downfall 07:15
2. Distant Peaks 07:17
3. Firstborn Son 09:59
4. Matriarch’s Lament 08:23
5. The Sight 10:59
6. Tears of Remembrance 11:18