Sometimes, I wish that the intro to Mefisto's "The Puzzle" would last for the length of a drive across the emptiness of Monument Valley's roads and highways, erupting into the chaotic extremity of it's bulk only while finally reaching the wasteland I had been searching. I could imagine opening the trunk of my rusting used vehicle and grabbing the shovel I had purchased shortly after I had murdered the random prostitute on the side of the road and burying her dismembered and beaten corpse deep in the dry earth beneath the shadows of the buttes.
There is clearly something special residing in the the first track of this demo - a somber memory of a time when everything was simple. The eruption of distortion is welcome however and "Hunting High, Die" is a fitting opening to the album. Without mentioning the excellent melodic base tormenting the underlying structure, Omar Ahmed rips through some excellently executed leads and solo material, proving himself an expert with the bar. Sandro Cajander's bass playing is appreciatively audible and well played as well. While he fails to do anything of major merit bass-wise, his vocals are another beast entirely. As close to black metal as anything you would hear in the mid 80's. Venom have clearly been an influence on his voracious appetite for his snarling nasty vocal approach.
Although a minute into the demo's title track I detect a slight change in tone, it is roughly at the same time I recognize that I've never heard a snare sound like the punch effect from a cheap action movie before. It might just be me though it has a distinctive "ka-pow." This is even more noticeable on fourth track Underground Circus. Returning to title track, The Puzzle, the exceptional solo section escapes being just a tad too long due only to its varied and building internal structure. The riff beneath it is simple and rather stale. A mediocre effort during this length would prove destructive to the song. The more melodic and melancholy harmony section closer towards the end of the track is welcomed however, providing a more interesting underlying structure - more depth of melody and rhythmic variation.
Another beautiful acoustic introduction into Os Liberty cements Ahmed's position as a criminally underrated and unknown yet incredibly talented guitar player. He flawlessly skims through what could be one of the finest and most mature moments on this demo. His ear for harmonious disharmony once the lead kicks in is just another bullet on his resume of guitar tricks. Roberto "Thord" Gornath's drumming stands out on this track. He displays an ear for dynamics and percussion composition. Sandro's bass playing is my only gripe on this track, as I feel he has ultimately taken the easy way out of the song, playing what is expected and not providing anything exciting to the four minute instrumental.
Underground Circus, the final track is a long, eight minute attempt at something epic though I feel it fails halfway there. I get the instinctual notion that it would work better as two shorter songs though Neither half have the riffs to be good enough for a song each. This is the one track I don't think works on the demo. Yes, it shows the band can play but it isn't as in your face, attacking, and effective as the previous three tracks. It suffers from sub par writing on my part with little direction. It has moments of inspiration but they fizzle shortly after.