As if a psychedelic rock band from the 70s accidentally invented death metal. This needs a couple of sittings; and maybe an altered state of mind. But boy does it slay when it hits your sweet spot. Year end list contender.
"Mercurial Passages" is a quantum leap from their previous "Death Velour" - a heavy head trip. The Trey Azagthoth/Chuck Schuldiner influences are still there but now Ghastly are coming into their own unique blend of death metal psychedelia. Trippy but hard, complex but not bloated - there is just so much here to enjoy. 3 listens through on headphones & I'm still wrapping my head around some of these songs. A slow burn that pays off in a big way, with "Mirror Horizon" being the absolute apex.
Favorite track: Mirror Horizon.
"Mercurial Passages" every song features dynamic arrangements and inspired, eerie riffing, but the 2 last tracks in particular show Ghastly at its peak to be capable of changing tempo ferociously and psychedelically at once. Trippy and crushing \m/
Favorite track: Sea Of Light.
Closing my eyes, I see everything. The twisting and turning crystalline passages burrowing through the dimensions. The multilimbed, gelatinous, creeping horrors that haunt the shadows. The skeletal visage that stares back at me from the mirror, weeping from a thousand reddened leech-mouths....
Ghastly return anew from the limitless wellspring of incomprehensible obscurity and dark inspiration that is Finland with its third album of mind-altering nightmare visions, ‘Mercurial Passages’.
All the elements that made ‘Death Velour’ a rarified jewel return in full splendor on ‘Mercurial Passages’. The memorably eerie slow burn build ups, the frantically vivid outbursts of speed and dramatic trance inducing doom fragments that create a hypnotic psychedelia akin to being lost in infinite labyrinthine corridors perpetually folding in on themselves. Death Metal for altered states of consciousness and mystifying wonder, rather than corporeal rot and earthbound materialism.
The album is once again graced with hauntingly cerebral artwork from Riikka Pesonen whose visual elegance provides the perfect accompaniment to Ghastly’s sinister eccentricity. An album to be consumed as a contemplative whole, ‘Mercurial Passages’ burrows into the deep recesses of the psyche exposing the dark subconscious to the edges of madness.