In my humble opinion, Sentinel Daily exists because of bands like Mysterizer; they, like us, are dedicated to upholding the traditional tenets of heavy metal through troubled, modern times… but there are times on their new album, Invisible Enemy, when you do find yourself wishing they’d maybe just try and experiment a little.
What you have here, by and large, is a journey around the Finnish quintet’s take on the glory years of Iron Maiden. When they get it right, as they do spectacularly on the splendid Angel of Mercy and the thoroughly rollicking – by which I mean one of the best straight-ahead metal tracks you’ll hear all year – The Dead Man’s Hand, you’ll be thinking you’ve stumbled across the next big thing in trad metal. But for too often – much like Iron Maiden in latterday mode, actually – they are too content to merely gallop along, making noise but not many waves, in a blur of efficient playing but little or no inspiration. Behind The Masquerade at least adds a few different rhythms to the mix, but even this detour into Skid Row country can’t quite get the band out of the rut they sometimes find themselves stuck in.
Janne Marjamaa and Mike Hammer are both fine guitarists, frequently pulling out all the stops when their turn in the solo spotlight comes, and, if Tomi Kurtti sounds a little strained at times – you find yourself wishing someone would just tell the band to tune down a bit to help him out on the caterwauling No Return – there’s no doubting his commitment to the metal cause; he sings with gusto and actually has a bit of character to his voice, pointing to the fact that he’s definitely not the finished article quite yet. And, as previously noted, it’s his contribution to The Dead Man’s Hand that makes it the standout cut it so undoubtedly is.
So, Invisible Enemy is definitely a good jumping off point for Mysterizer. They’ve got the talent, clearly; throw in a bit more personality and give a bit of polish to the areas needing attention and I’m pretty sure we’ll be hearing something far greater in the not too distant future!
Invisible Enemy is out now.