I had the pleasure of catching up with Alex ‘Thunder’ Martin, guitarist from The Mystery for an interview about the band, German music scene, influences, and their latest album where Alex gives us a track-by-track description of “Apocalypse 666” as well as their planes and so on.
Can you please introduce The Mystery to the readers, please?
THE MYSTERY is a female fronted metal band from Germany founded in 1996. After going through several line up changes ‘APOCALYPSE 666‘ is now the third official album of the band, after releasing ‘SCARS’ in 2005 and ‘SOULCATCHER’ in 2008 and two own-produced demo-albums before.
How would you describe your musical style/sound?
As already mentioned we call it “female fronted melodic metal”, but after the release of APOCALYPSE 666 we heard a lot that we are more Power Metal than Melodic Metal, because this sounds like we are using keyboards, but we don’t do it. We don’t like keyboards ;-) And we don’t really like the opera thing, so we have Iris on board, who does the rough vocals we like so much – it’s real metal straight from the heart with a big 80’s touch, but a more powerful sound.
How would you describe the German Metal scene, what has changed of the last decade or so?
I don’t know if anything changed. Maybe a few younger people join the scene. For us it’s like getting more attention at the moment than ever before, but is it because of a changing scene or because of a good produced new album??? I don’t really know!
Any German bands you would recommend to the PM readers.
Oh I like ORDEN OGAN, GUN BARREL and IRON FATE for example. Great bands !!!
Any other bands you would recommend not just from Germany.
ECLIPTICA from Austria and CRYSTAL VIPER from Poland.
What inspires you?
The sound of the 80’s. Bands like IRON MAIDEN, SAXON, JUDAS PRIEST from the NWOBHM, American bands like RIOT (R.I.P. Mark Reale) and of course DIO (R.I.P. wherever you are, in heaven or hell). For the lyrics we are mostly inspired by current happenings, themes from the here and now.
What was your inspiration or starting point for ‘Apocalypse 666’?
We began writing songs in the end of 2009 when Stefan joined the band. After many concerts with the SOULCATCHER album, new impulses by Stefan brought in new ideas for the new album we planned. Fortunately for today, because we found Iris, but unfortunately then our singer left the band, so APOCALYPSE 666 become a bit more aggressive touch than SOULCATCHER.
Do you have a particular writing process for songs or is it different for each song that you come up with?
Before APOCALYPSE 666 I wrote all songs by myself, the riffs, the lyrics and the melodies. Today Stefan and me write songs together or by our own.
You can read it in the credits of the songs.
We arrange them together with the whole band and Iris sometimes change a few words and modifying the melody lines
How did the recording sessions go? Any stories you wish to share.
We have recorded most instrument parts by ourselves. We went to BAZEMENT STUDIO to Markus Teske and re-recorded the instruments and recorded all Vocals within 4 days.
It was very interesting to see Iris recording – it’s very special: She works 8 to 10 hours without even getting weaker with her voice, drinking 4 to 5 liters of still waters and the only breaks she allows herself is for going to pee. She’s a real Rock ‘n’ Roll workaholic.
Can you please give us a track by track description of ‘Apocalypse 666’
It’s the introduction of the album. Over a cinematic soundtrack a dark voice tells about the upcoming end of the world and leads directly over into the title track.
A hard-riffing, double-bass playing uptempo song with the apocalyptic theme of world’s end on Dec, 21st this year – as told in the maya prophecy.
Beginning with a bass-intro the song is a mid-tempo-melodic-rocker with a light thrashy verse riffing. The lyrics are about a renegade of society, broke the law by tooking revenge for pain that’s done to him. Just a fictional content.
Also a melodic-mid-tempo-song about the dark side of man taking over. A bit schizophrenic.
Nailed to the cross
Our Video-Single you can watch at YOU TUBE for example about the slaves of religion and faith. Double-Bass attacks in the verse and very melodic in the chorus.
Also a song about the dark side of man standing between life and death. A real fast song full of double-bass attacks.
Two tribes pushing up theirselves for the upcoming fight. I think it’s the most unique song on the album with disharmonic riffings.
A melodic intro leads into a power riffing and a grooving verse followed by a chorus that catches your ears. The song is about the fighting against dictators all over the world but especially in nowadays in the Arabic area. Keep on fighting and bring the tyrants to fall.
A dynamic riff puts forth the song, which is about the finance crises and the greed of man who lead us into it.
In Heaven or hell
It’s our one and only ballad of the album. It’s a tribute to Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.) for whom we believe is still rockin’ in heaven or hell. Ronnie, your spirit lives on.
A mid-tempo-song about the mindcrime made by the media, the politics and the mighty ones in the world, making us believe in a world, we don’t really know, while creating the new world order at the same time. Wake up and free your mind.
The Great Escape
It’s a more epic song about nearly 6 minutes, with several instrumental parts, mid-tempo rhythm, twin-guitars in the verse and an anthemic chorus completely written by Stefan. The lyrics are about getting into a time struggle. Just before the end of the world you get into it and step somewhere back in time, but there’s no chance to change anything. You see the same things happening on earth again and again. War and hate leads us to the end and also if we would know, we wouldn’t change it. With the title track and this last song it’s like the album’s circle closes.
Do you have a favourite track? If so, why?
Not really. I don’t want to sound conceited, but I’m proud of the whole album. I can listen to it from the beginning to the end and start again. I don’t have favourites.
Out of all your albums/songs, do you have a favourite?
APOCALYPSE 666 is the best album we wrote till now, but I like songs from the further albums too. For example I still like – and I guess will always like it – “Vengeance is mine” – the opener track from our first official album SCARS.
How easy was it to pick the artwork for the album?
As we knew that the album would be called APOCALYPSE 666, we know our lady we always took for the cover artwork had to destroy something like a dark angel coming from above bringing the end of the world. The Dollar-notes were added because of the song “Ca$hgame” and because of this idea, we know what our lady has to destroy – a big finance place in Germany.
Our idea was than transposed by Timo Würz.
What is planned next for you guys?
We use to play gigs as much as we can to promote the album and get in touch with our fans.
Any messages you would like to pass on to the readers.
Thank you readers of Planetmosh for your interest. Watch out for our Videoclip to “Nailed to the cross” on YOUTUBE, have a look at our homepage www.the-mystery.de, leave a message in our guestbook and listen to APOCALYPSE 666. We hope you enjoy and we see us one day on tour.
Thank you very much Alex for taking the time out to filling this in.
Iris Boanta (Vocals)
Alex Thunder Martin (Guitar)
Daniel Kahn (Drums)
Christian Rüther (Bass)
Stefan Weitzel (Guitar)