Misty Grey – Chapter II
Interstellar Smoke Records
Release date: 20 November 2020
Running time: 39 mins
Review by: Alun Jones
Can you think of a more apt genre than doom metal for the times we live in? It’s crazy out there. From a global pandemic, civil unrest, ecological destruction and lunatics in the most powerful seats in the world, the 21st century becomes more and more apocalyptic day by day. Party music doesn’t seem right. On the other hand, the retro stylings of bands like Misty Grey hark back to cosier times of the seventies and eighties when we just had nuclear destruction – and yet more lunatics in power – to contend with.
Misty Grey is not the name of a US mattress actress (don’t bother Googling it, just in case), they are in fact a four-piece doom metal band from Spain. They deal in extremely authentic, good old fashioned heavy rock in the Black Sabbath/Pentagram/Saint Vitus vein. We’re in thundering, enormo riff territory, and by ‘eck it’s good stuff.
Originally receiving a CD release back in 2018, “Chapter II” is now available on vinyl from Interstellar Smoke Records. And a very welcome re-release it is, as “Chapter II” could well have been lost in an Atlantean cataclysm of some type, which would be shameful.
Deceptively pretty Spanish guitar opens the album with a laid-back space-jazz feel, before “Spellbound” erupts with Juan’s raw, grinding guitar. The chugging riff is illustrative of what to expect from this album; it’s Iommi worship all the way (and bless Misty Grey for it).
If that first track is the first Sabbath album, “Strangers on a Train” is a missing Masters of Reality cut. It rolls and grooves along, powered by Robin’s bass and Javi’s drums. On the other hand, “Rebecca” is more like The Obsessed or Saint Vitus, there’s a rough, organic, yet aggressive feel to it.
The musicianship is great, the production has atmosphere and pays homage in a credible, affectionate manner to the band’s influences – without becoming a parody. The vocals of Beatriz Castillo really help define an individual sound for Misty Grey, she is both tender and terrifying in equal, devastating measure.
I apologise to the band for my crass comparisons to the old masters. But hey, I don’t listen to this type of music for radical innovation. The last thing anyone wants to hear is some kind of nu-doom, with samplers and turntables. Keep it slow, keep it weird, keep it trippy – but most of all, keep it riffy. Heavy, repetitive and riffy. Misty Grey do just that on “Chapter II” and it’s all kinds of awesome.
This has been a Platinum Review for Ever Metal.