Misteyes kindly got in touch just after their debut album, Creeping Time, was released and asked if I would be able to review it. Always happy to help out (time allowing), I added it to my “when I have the time” list and ended up giving it a few listens last week.
The band describe themselves as “light and dark metal” and listening to it, this isn’t a bad way of summing them up. Their sound blends the operatic style of many female-fronted symphonic acts with a darker, harsher death edge. This is managed, in the main by the dual vocal talents of Denise Manzi (clean/operatic) and Edoardo Iacono (growl/scream). Even without them, though, the music straddles styles ably.
If someone described to you, I could understand if you thought it would be a bit of a mess, but it really isn’t. Manzi’s vocals in particular fit everywhere they appear – with gentler, melodic backing or soaring over the heavier, blasting beats. Iacono’s screams and growls are similarly used in various ways. Throaty vocals are growled out whereas his harsher screams come across more as an additional instrument rather than a way of conveying words, often underlying Manzi’s more siren-esque style.
This isn’t an album with a heavy track, a melodic one, a traditional one, a heavy one… Each song is a blend of style so you get a variety in each slice. The band’s first single “Brains in a Vat”, for instance, kicks off like it’s going to lead into a thrash track, goes all darkly operatic then more symphonic black for a bit before bouncing back to opera then shimmying sideways into a crunchy bridge and then declaring “bugger it, let’s get a pit going”. And the amazing thing is that there are no jumps, joins or stutters from one style to the next. Everything just flows.
I think the best way to picture this album is as a collection of songs in a musical stage production. They move and flow based on the story and it’s almost as if our two leads are acting out each stage in song-sized chunks with the help of their four instrument-bearing friends.
Creeping Time is definitely an album that deserves at least one listen as I think it will pleasantly surprise newcomers. With numerous interesting riffs, atmospheric breaks and of course those vocals, this is one hell of an LP – moreso considering that it’s a debut release. Production is excellent as well. Given the importance of each element, it must have been a hell of a job to bring it all together so credit should be given to Alessio Sogno of Alarm Studio in Turin.
Picks from the album: Inside The Golden Cage, Destroy Your Past, Chaos (Awake The Beast Part 2)
Creeping Time is out now through Maple Metal Records.