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Written by: Xhethi

 

After Bathory, Mefisto must be considered Sweden’s oldest and most legendary death/black metal and unlike the former. Commercial success, transparent and desperate”back to the roots” attempts or grunge records never stained Mefisto┤s career. The first time their name appeared in a zine must have been in Slayer zine #3/4 1986 but the history goes back to years earlier.

In 1984 at a northern suburb to Stockholm called ┼kersberga the bass man and vocalist Sandro Cajander founded Torment together with a guitarist the name whom remains unknown. After some struggle a drummer was found in Roberto “Thord” Granath, but having that struggle sorted out, another struggle continued with the guitarist- Thus a big boot in the butt of the man and a long search for a new guitarist began, and while this went on. Sandro and Thord grew tired of their name. The name of the devil in the Dr. Faustus myth caught their eye but Mephistopheles felt too long, which was cut to Mefisto.

A singer was also tried but he was not particularly fond of death metal, instead a guitarist turned up. Or rather, Mefisto turned up for Omar Ahmed one day when he was rehearsing and they were amazed by his playing. He did not immediately accept the offer to join Mefisto, but once his other band broke up he did so. He’d rather play “Total Death Concrete Magical Speed Warfare Metal” (as the style was described by Metalion) with these lunatics than not play at all.

The first of the two demos Mefisto were to record turned up in May 1986 after a delay of two months. A twenty minute piece of brutal but surprisingly mature death metal when the very term was barely coined.

Alright, the band themselves called it both death metal and black metal. The more melodic influences of Omar certainly gave Mefisto┤s undeniable brutality a subtler side and I am sure the guitarist been as hard a fan of bands like Celtic Frost the sound would have been far less recognisable. The lyrics, written by Thord, mainly studied war and warlike conditions, as sounds logical to titles like” Act Dead” and “Missing in Action”. Although flirting with symbols such as the inverted cross, the rest of the lyrics were rather about occultism than Satanism. The “typical” occultism if you excuse the description, as represented by the Eliphas Levi + octogram image on the demo cover, was also affected by Omar’s passion for Egyptic mythology.

One of the few, if not the only radio station that received this demo was Monte Conner’s WBMB Witching Hour in New York. Being voted over Helstar, Celtic Frost and Sacrifice did tell something about the capacity of this unknown, new band from Sweden.

Already in the demo days the band backed up by manager Mike Eriksson, Mefisto were eager to release an album, but due to lack of clever labels the story of the band, as we know, end after the second demo. “The Puzzle…” featured four songs one of which even reached over eight minutes and an even growing desire to finally release a professional item. This demo was released in November 1986.

The disagreements between Omar and the core of Mefisto grew. They had always been there: the second demo was predicted to be even more brutal than “Megalomania” while the results was in the opposite direction with multiplied amounts of guitar compared to the debut which itself did not lack solos.

“The Puzzle…” remained the final chapter and as such quite mouthful. When listened to, it requires concentration due to its most intricate shape but although being one of the most special demos from Sweden. It is “Megalomania” that is Mefisto just as “Under the Sign of the Black Mark” is Bathory. If you agree?  (Dauthus.)
















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