Mental Cruelty – Zwielicht Review

Sick, very sick. “Zwielicht” is one of the sickiest albums we’ve reviewed here in a long time. Its mix of a furious Black Metal with a sick Symphonic Metal will make my dear child of the night bang the head furiously. This mix adds sicky vocals duets – well, not really duets because Mental Cruelty change voices along the tracks all the time plus some weird eerie growls and voice effects in the background as in “Pest” – with some Alt Metal instrumental features and some other vaudeville interventions besides a frentic neat instrumental highlighting the machine gun drumming – this drumming is really something out of this world. Drummer Danny Straßer not only plays his drum kit fast, but also with an incredible technique. By the way, why hasn’t anyone thought of using this sick name Mental Cruelty? It fits perfectly to the music my dear chlid of the night will hear in thew album. “Zwielicht” and Mental Cruelty take Black Metal to the other level or, beter yet, to the other world whatever it might be.

Mental Cruelty come armed with new vocalist Lukas, Mental Cruelty usher in a new epoch of unlight and grim determination that’s at the heart of their upcoming album, “Zwielicht” (translated in English as “Twilight”). Once again working with producer and mixer Josh Schroeder (Lorna Shore, The Browning), they’ve pushed their sound to new blacker intensities forged in emotional riffing, heavy “back to the roots” breakdowns, and epic orchestral arrangements that surpass the already elite standards that have become synonymous with their name.

Rising from the ashes of personal and professional chaos, Mental Cruelty (rounded out by guitarists Nahuel Lozano and Marvin Kessler, bassist Viktor Dick and drummer Danny Straßer) spent the first half of 2021 seeking out a voice to continue to cement them an as uncompromising force in Metal music scene. After locking in Lukas they’ve reemerged bloodied but unbowed, ready to continue spreading themselves into an international force.

It’s really impressing the way “Zwielicht” delivers many kinds of voices as in “Mortal Shells” meaning to reach each kind of human emotion. The intent is to pass despair, grief, sorrow, fear, and many others as my dear child of the night might think of. The guitars don’t follow the standard Black Metal way of playing as they incorporate many other techniques giving the songs a great wrap up. Most of them techniques from Death Metal I must say. Embellishing, or better yet, incorporating there are as well the symphonic parts and also some folk influences as tittle track “Zwielicht” showcases the fan following by the impressive machine gun drumming of “Symphony of a Dying Star” and its theatrical keyboarding and simple, but effective, impressive guitar playing.

As I said before “Zwielicht” and Mental Cruelty take Black Metal to the other level. The album is really something to be praised from the instrumentals to the vocals. Another album to be nominated as best of.

Mental Cruelty “Zwielicht” will be released on June 23rd via Century Media.

Track Listing:

  1. Midtvinter
  2. Obsessis A Daemonio
  3. Forgotten Kings
  4. Pest
  5. Nordlys
  6. Mortal Shells
  7. Zwielicht
  8. Symphony of a Dying Star
  9. The Arrogance of Agony
  10. A Tale of Salt and Light

Watch “Zwielicht/Symphony of a Dying Star” official music video here: