November 14th, 2013
Release length: 8:22
“Phobia” shows off Mist‘s obvious Candlemass and Pentagram influences well. The heavy slower pace carries a slightly grand aura against the crushing tones from the bass and down tuned guitars. The drums are a bit weak at times thanks to softer playing when things slow more, such as around a minute and forty seconds in. Thankfully they do pick back up into tighter, louder strikes once more not too long after. But it’s Nina Spruk’s clean vocals that make the song rather interesting, giving it more of an Occult Rock vibe similar to bands like The Devil’s Blood, or even Jess and the Ancient Ones.
“The Living Dead” is a little more upbeat with its mid-tempo approach, though some deeper riffs do still ignite a creepy atmosphere. Fans of early Stoner Rock like Black Sabbath will find a good amount to enjoy here as well thanks to an early Doom sensation well while throwing a rather impressive guitar solo your way that sounds as if ripped out of some altered state. The drumming here is definitely tighter all around as well, but for all the pros the track has, the song itself just isn’t as memorable as “Phobia.”
The only other thing worth touching on is the cost. This doesn’t reflect the quality of the recording, but something that will hurt the sale of it more than anything in the end. When it comes to a two-song demo, you need a really high quality and memorable performance to sell it for a good deal of money, and with a debut, you want to keep it moderately low in price. The ladies of Mist, however, are charging seven euros for a digital download, and four for a physical copy before shipping costs. It’s also a slap in the face of their fans that they have to pay more for digital files when the cheaper limited edition compact disc sells out, killing a good chunk of the band’s profits to put towards going into the studio, merchandise, or hitting the road. I know if I decide to order this and the physical version is sold out, I wouldn’t spend that much for two MP3s, and just wait for a compilation or reissue to include them.
Update: December 10th, 2013: I received this message from the band regarding the high cost of the digital download after the review went live: “This demo is avaible as name-your-price download, but they ran out of downloads for last month (there are only 200, for more Bandcamp is charging) and that price of 7â‚¬ is put there automatically by Bandcamp. So everybody has to wait until 2013/12/17 for new free/name-your-price downloads.” Again, the cost of the demo was not taken into consideration when giving the 2013 Demo a score.
Let’s take the extravagant cost and all female band member aspect off the table. Looking at the material itself, Demo 2013 by Mist actually isn’t that bad, but also not that memorable. With traces of Occult and Stoner Rock laced with early Doom Metal, the two songs show a decent amount of range for the five-piece. There’s still plenty of room for the band to grow, as evidenced with the rather standard performance on “The Living Dead.” It’s understandable you wouldn’t want to shell out a good deal for two songs, especially with only one being all that impressive, but it’s worth spending eight minutes with on their Bandcamp at the very least.
01. Phobia – 4:18
02. The Living Dead – 4:04
|Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10