BLACK HOLE (Land Of Mystery) CD
Back then in 1985, I can well imagine that BLACK HOLE does not attract a lot of attention. It was the time when hardcore punk and thrash metal dominated the rebellious musical word of most adolescents. In this context, 'Land Of Mystery' seems like a remnant of ancient times. And basically, that's what it is. Originally released by City Records in 1985, Italy's BLACK HOLE orientated themselves on musical and lyrical concepts that came from the 1970's. At this time, there was no interest in a 70's revival as it is today. So it's no surprise that 'Land Of Mystery' has long fallen into oblivion. But the Italian record label Andromeda Relix dug it out and re-released this album in 2010 so that everybody should be able to listen to the most eccentric progressive doom record of the 1980's.
Well, actually all doom metal made in Italy is definitely more eccentric than the one from some other countries, but BLACK HOLE are something very special. Though one hears an influence of Black Sabbath, early Death SS as well as by the NWOBHM, there is more to the songs than just this. As with many other Italian doom bands, keyboards play a not to be underestimated role which leads to a more surrealistic and morbid result. There are definitely moments, which remind me to Goblin and BLACK HOLE manages with ease to infuse their epic tracks with a kind of cinematic character. It is also very typical for an Italian doom band, that the lyrics deal with occultism, but in contrast to such modern bands as, for example, The Devil's Blood (terribly overrated!) or Ghost (terribly awful!), BLACK HOLE is more expressive of mood and more realistic. And last but not least, this album is considerably more interesting due to the progressive tendencies. Yet still 'Land Of Mystery' is melodic and extremely atmospheric.
I will spare you a detailed description of the songs, of which there are nine in total including two bonus tracks ('Angel of Lucifer', 'Crying Puppets'). It's better to listen to this exceptional sinister album than to just write about it. At that time in the mid-1980's 'Land Of Mystery' seems antiquated, but as things stand at present it seems as if this record was ahead of the times. This is undoubtedly a very individual album, which I would recommend to all people with a strong interest in progressive and occult doom metal. Please note that the CD is released in a strictly limited edition of 500 copies. By the way, the packaging is very nice, too.