In the 20th year of their existence, and who would have thought that a German Doom band would slow the pace of Metal down so many years, Mirror Of Deception present their fourth album called 'A Smouldering Fire', which in this respect is a damn fitting name for this album. So what can the Doom Fan expect from a band running so long, a band that has a established a certain sound for themselves that put them in their own little space? They could stick to this typical sound of theirs and the freaks out there would not have complained. Or they could have tried to expand. And so they did. The opening 'Isle Of Horror' already shows that Mirror Of Deception try to do things a little different without leaving the path they paved for themselves. They just make this path a little wider. Though the song starts, I would say, in a typical manner for the quartet from Swabistan, the twinlead melody and more traditional metal kind of riff show a certain expansion of the sound.
One could say that Mirror Of Deception already did that before. But this kind of style gets a little more attention on this album than it used to before. And it fits the epic style very well. More than one song goes in that direction though there is enough stuff that is old school Mirror Of Deception so to speak. Songs like 'Unforseen' remind of the 'Conversion' EP and comes up with some real quiet parts. These quiet parts are another part of this album that stand out for me. Maybe this is a slight tribute to the bands age. Just kidding. But you can find this kind of elements in tracks like 'Voyage Obscure' or the short instrumentals 'Leguano' and 'December' that reminds a little to the beginning of the legendary 'Der Student aus Ulm' from their split with Garden Of Worm. This is followed by 'Lauernder Schmerz', the obligatory song in German. And would we have wanted an album without a German song? No. As a musician I must say I envy the guys a little because I find it damn hard to write good German lyrics for a Doom song that do not sound silly. And these guys master this task. This song stands out for me a little due to certain riffs and the arrangement that covers different moods.
But even Mirror Of Deception sometimes cannot deny their influences. 'Sojourner' is a big bow to Warning. But as that band is no more we can be glad for more songs in that vein from whoever. Not that any band as of now would have matched their beauty. But Mirror Of Deception come damn close. I am not sure, but to me it seems like the production especially of the vocals have been better on earlier albums and there are less so-called hits on this album but nevertheless it offers a lot to the fans of the band and Doom in general. Not to forget that the first edition of this album comes in a nice digi-pack (so I heard) with a bonus CD that featured songs from split releases and revised early material. I urge you to buy this as I go doom dancing to 'The Flood And The Horses'.