HistoryFrenzy Philippon formed this hard rock band in Strasbourg in eastern France in 1978. The band’s first demo was not issued until 1983 however. French heavy metal label Axe Killer signed the band and a self-titled album was issued in 1984. Several songs were culled from the demo. Eat Metal Records would reissue this disc in 2016. The band moved to another French label, Dream Records, for its second album, but the line-up remained the same. Several demos followed, but without a deal the group disbanded in 1989 having played shows with H-Bomb (at Festi’Hard), Def Leppard, Saxon and others. The band had toured France with High ‘N Dry and Fine in 1988. The Another Side demo was intended to be an album, but the group’s split meant it was to remain an independent release.
The band reformed in 1995 and issued Demo #3, which oddly was the band’s fourth demo. Female vocalist Nathalie Geyer fronted the band. She was previously in a cover band. The group set up its own imprint, called Road Show, and issued a full-length called Spirit Of Your Song with a cover reminiscent of a child’s kindergarten drawing. The band opened for Rock Bitch locally in 2000. Demo 2001 and Brand New Demo were out next. 2006’s Claws Of Steel for the reformed band was on the Belgian reformed label Mausoleum Records, but following a previous pattern 2009’s Hell & Fury was again on another label. It was mixed and mastered by Achim Köhler. By 2012, the band was back releasing its own material. That year brought Conquer The World. Matt Gabnai was on bass having joined at the beginning of 2011. The new demo was recorded, mixed and mastered by Uwe Lulis (Grave Digger, Rebellion, etc) at Black Solaris Studios, Frankfurt, Germany. During the summer of 2013 second guitarist Sylvain Ebersoldt and bassist Steph Noerberg joined the act. A Journey Through Time – 30 Years In Metal DVD was issued in 2015. The group announced a live recording, called Live… Made In Europe, for 2016.
MYSTERY BLUE - BRAND NEW DEMO
Mystery Blue is yet another 80's metal band reformed (albeit with only one original member in this case) and back on the scene. It is a very sad day for heavy metal when a twenty-year old band is more powerful, more exciting and yes more metal, than the whole distaff of modern acts prancing around nowadays. In fact, after being exposed to the current crop of female-fronted so-called metal bands, Mystery Blue is a god-send.
The new demo MCD features three songs of which Dark Visions, with its sombre start, is representative. Singer Nathalie has quite a wild voice lashing it at will. At other times her high pitch is almost out of control. Frenzy lives up to his name on the guitar. The rhythm section is both solid and reliable. Roller Coaster Ride is appropriately more up-beat and the CD comes to an end with Angel which is a cool hard rock tune. Fans of Judas Priest, Saxon, etc. should check Mystery Blue out. The band is not a clone however and coupled with the very good sound makes for a recommendable CD. Send $10 Cdn.. to 158, rue Hubel, 67590 Ohlungen France or browse www.mysteryblue.com for more details - Ali "The Metallian"
MYSTERY BLUE - METAL SLAVES
Veteran French metal band Mystery Blue is back with a full-length demo-CD. Featuring, among others, the three songs which have already seen release on the band's last outing Brand New Demo, Metal Slaves is another strong showing from this smoking heavy metal quartet. The CD starts with a silly intro whose memory is quickly erased by the pounding Slave To Blood. The matter of confused enslavements aside, the song demonstrates again how a twenty-year old band can wallop harder than most contemporary bands. The lead guitar works very well and is a pleasure to hear. Nathalie Geyer's voice is like a lynx in heat who is afforded a microphone. She is both aggressive and melodic at the same time. S.T.A.G.E. is up next and is the band's hymn to the live arena. A worrying keyboard interlude at the beginning aside, the song is both heavy and consecrated with an original lead guitar. Frenzy Philippon is a great soloist and would do well to do more and more solos. Nathalie too screams with gusto here. Metal Dream's subject matter is one of, well, metal dreams and comes with an infectious riff tailor-made for headbanging. Desolation could have been a penetrating power ballad, but instead is ruined by futile keyboards and a chorus which does not work. Land Of No Return has a certain Thin Lizzy feel to it and is quieter than the average Mystery Blue composition. Another noteworthy song is album closer Cry Out which is a little crazy, a little speedy and completely Mystery Blue. Nathalie impresses once again. These songs, and the aforementioned re-released tunes, add up to almost forty-five minutes of authentic HR/HM. Mystery Blue is a casebook example of this genre's foundations and hopefully future. May the walls of Metallian Towers reverberate with Metal Slaves for a long time to come! - Ali "The Metallian"
MYSTERY BLUE - HELL & FURY - BERNETT
Even though the Frenchmen’s early work from the '80s - the group reformed in the late '90s after years of inactivity - is unfamiliar in these quarters it is difficult to conceive of it as being as good as this. The band’s action-packed mix of speed and heavy metal is vintage. There is a trueness and power to this album that would set metal fans afire.
The intro is worthy of a gore band, as is the cover artwork, but the title track, which is the first proper song, is no Cannibal Corpse or Impetigo gorefest. Rather, the band is about to dive into a series of very good melodic metal mayhems. Nathalie Geyer is likely an acquired taste with her high-pitched vocals, but she can back it up and then some. Her screams will scare the banshee. Nuclear Skies is clearly a favourite cut with its relentless speed. The guitarist’s right-hand is on the (constant) move. It starts with a bass strum and could work as one of Hammerfall’s better cuts. Piece Of Eternity is a slow song and rather pretentious. Certain songs might be a piece of eternity, but this one may not be in that elite group. Fate and When Time Is Pain (which even has some keyboards) are the below average cuts here and rather mundane. Taking those two out of the equation elevates the disc even further and pushes Hell & Fury to even higher strata. With No Way Out the band demonstrates how it can also solo, not that this disc lacks guitars. The leads alternate with crunchy heavy chords. Odd sounds effects are on this one too.
You know times are bad when the band cannot get more attention with this release. Never mind, the wails of the singer, riffs of the guitars and the precise drumming are alive. Metal is well. - Ali “The Metallian”