MYSTERIZER “The Holy War: 1095”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Finland has a strong tradition of melodic power metal, with legends like STRATOVARIUS and SONATA ARCTICA leading the pack. MYSTERIZER hail from the Land of 10,000 Lakes and are throwing their hat into the Finnish power metal ring. They got their start as a cover band, but now do full fledged originals.

MYSTERIZER has got a long way to go to match their inspirations. The general form is correct...this is very much in the vein of STRATOVARIUS as well as other power metal stalwarts like HAMMERFALL and SABATON. Lots of shredding guitar solos, soaring choruses and fruity keyboard work dot the material. But there’s a derivativeness to it. Their songwriting is not quite on the same level as the big boys.

And the biggest impediment is lead singer Tomi Kurtti. This guy superficially has a Bruce Dickinson tone to his voice...but it’s a Bruce Dickinson that’s been at the pub way too long. There’s a slurring to Kurtti’s diction that ranges from mildly annoying to full out godawful. The vocals on “Dangerous Games” should not have been allowed on record. The guy just doesn’t sound right and when he tries for a higher register, he sounds shrill. Sometimes he almost gets it, but never 100%. When combined with the obviously unoriginal songwriting, it holds MYSTERIZER back.

The guitar playing is of a very high standard and in the Finnish tradition. The keys comes across as too sweet but that’s always been the way with this kind of music. The band is trying hard to do what they love and with “Virus C” and “Alea Iacta Est” they almost make it, but the guys need to really tighten things up, especially in the vocal department.