Mirror – The Day Bastard Leaders Die (Cruz del Sur Music)

Monday, 18th April 2022
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Paying homage to classic heavy metal of the NWOBHM and 70’s proto-rock variety, Mirror started in 2015 – developing two albums for Metal Blade and Bad Omen Records before signing with Cruz Del Sur Music for The Day Bastard Leaders Die. The five-piece lineup has international ties, bassist Tas spending a few years in Electric Wizard and currently holding down low-end duties in Satan’s Wrath – while others have seasoning in the progressive, power, and thrash platforms. What you’ll quickly discover when spinning these nine tracks is the energy, urgency, and strength of early heavy metal reigns supreme here, from songwriting to performances through production and tonality.

The opening drum rolls and bass work signal the ensuing mid-tempo galloping that sets “Infernal Deceiver” off on a spirited note – the soaring voice of Jimmy Mavrommatis resilient in his Halford-esque meets Michael Sweet favored falsetto frequencies. Fleet fret burning and steady rhythms push “Fire and Hell” into the mid-album spotlight, the tradeoff breaks between Nikolas Moutafis and Dino combining the feel of Mercyful Fate, Satan, and Judas Priest in terms of classical touches, harmony twists, and tapping/ dive bomb mechanics. Other tracks possess that mighty steel atmosphere where the tempo galvanizes, the supporting riffs stand tall, and the vocals glide over the top in majestic splendor – check out “Stand Fight Victory” and “Savage Tales” where evil tones of doom and classic metal collide. Adding piano and 70’s pomp keyboard elements, the title track happens to be the longest at 7:33, an epic outing with Dio/Rainbow-esque guitar play, operatic meets rhythmic melodies, all driving to an effects-laden conclusion.

Producer/ engineer Costa Costopoulous deserves credit as well for capturing Mirror in a natural, pure state through the instrumentation and vocals – assembling the sound as if you are stepping back into the early 80’s with the right energy and clarity while not being too ‘perfect’ and polished. The Day Bastard Leaders Die is a must have to the classic heavy metal brigade – much like Satan’s latest offering proves that with high quality records such as this, there’s no death knell in the cards.

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