"Metal Slaves" (Road Show Productions; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

With "Metal Slaves," Mystery Blue prove that they're back to kick some serious metal ass. 

"Metal Slaves" sounds a lot like 70s and 80s era Judas Priest and, of course, that's a good thing. The chunky riffs, the blistering razor-sharp leads, the powerful vocals - it all adds up to a solid heavy metal experience.

Despite the fact that Mystery Blue emulates Judas Priest, the band still has a sound all their own. A lot of this has to do with the vocal prowess and originality of singer Nathalie Geyer. Geyer is no Rob Halford, but, then again, nobody is. Still, her unique vocal style is a very successful cross between Halford and King Diamond (with a definite feminine edge thrown in). 

Add to that the explosive sound of the band behind her - the furious guitars of Frenzy Philippon, the throbbing bas of Dany Ohlmann and the thunderous drums of Vince Koehler (whose expert timekeeping keeps the band's pace "heavy" at all times, even during the slower numbers) - and you've got a great heavy metal CD.

Although some tracks on the CD are better than others, there are no duds here. My favorites were "Slave to Blood," "S.T.A.G.E.," "Metal Dream," "Roller Coaster Ride" and "Land of No Return."

Mystery Blue's "Metal Slaves" is heavy metal the way it's meant to be played: hard, fast and loud. 

Mystery Blue: Frenzy Philippon - guitars; Nathalie Geyer- vocals; Vince Koelher - drums; Dany Ohlmann - bass.

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"Demo 2002" (Demo; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Mystery Blue were on the road to the big time in the late 80s. Opening for such well-known acts as Saxon and Motorhead, Mystery Blue released a couple of albums and garnered a hefty following. Sadly, inner turmoil eventually led to the band's (temporary) demise.

In 1996, however, the band re-formed, this time with female vocalist Natalie at the microphone. Since then, the band has continued touring and recording and "Demo 2002" is their latest recorded effort.

When the first smooth, easy, acoustic notes of "Dark Visions" start dribbling from your speakers, you might be tempted to reach out and punch the stop button. But give yourself just thirty seconds and "Dark Visions" suddenly becomes emboldened with heavy guitars and a screeching yet controlled vocal style that will hold you until the end. "Roller Coaster Ride" is a faster, leaner, meaner tune in which Natalie's voice reaches new highs and lows. "Angel" begins with a blistering riff and boils into a song that Judas Priest would have been proud to have on their biggest albums of the 80s.

In addition, the music on "Demo 2002" sounds like it would translate great live. If I ever get over to Europe or the band ever gets over here, I'm going to one of their shows.

Mystery Blue may have been forced to go back to the beginning, but they're doing so with a fresh attitude and a fresh sound. I won't be surprised to see them climb to the top once again.

Mystery Blue: Frenzy - guitars; Nathalie - vocals; Vince - drums; Dany - bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.