"Think the glorious widescreen sweep of Rainbow's 'Rising', the mystical atmosphere of Angel Witch's self-titled debut and the cinematic sturm-und-drang of early Iron Maiden, yet also prepare to bear witness to a band taking the sparks that flew in the transition from the rock of the '70s to the metal of the '80s, and using them to forge a fire of their own creation."
Thus states the press release promoting this new, self-titled debut on Metal Blade for this new outfit Mirror, who are comprised of bassist Tas Danazoglou (Satan's Wrath, ex-Electric Wizard), guitarist Stamos K (Satan's Wrath), vocalist Jimmy Mavromatis, drummer Jaime Gomez Arellano, and guitarist Matt Olivo (Repulsion). Though I'm not sure I hear a lot of vintage Rainbow, Angel Witch, or Iron Maiden here on Mirror, the band sure do show a knack for classic metal riffs, atmosphere, and power, mixed in with some occult leanings, seemingly owing more to acts like Black Sabbath, Ghost, Scorpions, Judas Priest, UFO, and perhaps a little Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. Each song here is excellently crafted, with Mavromantis' high pitched vocals soaring to the heavens over dark, effective riffs, occasional organ, and pounding rhythms, with some tasty dual harmony lead guitars the icing on the cake. "Heavy King" and "Year of the Red Moon" are just incredible displays of classic heavy metal, while "Mirror", "Curse of the Gypsy", and "Galleon" show more than a hint of Mercyful Fate, especially on the arrangements. "Elysian" and "Madness and Magik" offer up sledgehammer doom and NWOBHM gallop ala early Black Sabbath and Diamond Head, but the added organ adds that Purple/Heep twist, and the sizzling lead guitars of "Cloak of a Thousand Secrets" will thrill any fan of '70s era Scorpions or UFO.
I know I'm throwing out a ton of comparisons here, but these are only tiny reference points as Mirror have done a great job here incorporating classic hard rock & metal elements into a style that's truly exciting and fresh while still paying homage to the past. This is a killer debut and we will no doubt be hearing much more from this band in the months and years to come.
02. Curse of the Gypsy
03. Year of the Red Moon
04. Heavy King
05. Madness and Magik
07. Cloak of a Thousand Secrets
08. Orion's Sword