Wicked Mystic's 'Mend Or End' re-released through Moshover Records
25 odd years ago, we, all in our early twenties, went to the small village of Losser, in the east of the Netherlands. This village was known to us for just one thing: Harrow Productions Studio, a small but cozy studio helmed by producer Harry Wijering. In the late eighties everybody was raving about “the USA Morrissound” from Tampa Florida, USA. Well, Harrow was exactly the Dutch equivalent to us. The place to go to record your underground-metal demo.
A few years earlier, in ’89, a young heavy metal fan from the town of Zevenaar, named Wily van Haren, had just formed the band “Legend”, soon to be changed to “Wicked Mystic”(yes, after the song of the first Annihilator album). Next to his wild double bass drumming style, Wily had an interest in fine arts, especially painting. That came in handy as he developed the Wicked Mystic logo, artwork and t-shirt designs through the years.
Like all bands in their early stages, Wicked Mystic changed line-ups pretty fast but with every change we slowly morphed into the final form. For instance singer Johan Godschalk who joined early 1991 just before the recording of the first demo “Only The Silence Survived”, who’s singing style reminded many of the early Sepultura records. He soon would become the main-lyricist of the band. Despite its “recorded in the cellar-sound”, the band got noticed by the main Dutch Metal Radio show “Vara’s Vuurwerk” who dubbed it demo of the week. Another keymember change happened early 1992, just before the recording of the 2nd demo “Dying A Dream”. The addition of guitarist Harald te Grotenhuis who brought a strange mixture of “Bay Area crunch” and Mike Oldfield like interludes to the table. In the summer of 1993 bassplayer Twan Jacobs joined the band. With his wild stage performance and almost punkdriven bass playing, the picture was complete. We quickly wrote the tunes for what would become “Mend Or End”. Of course drummer Wily van Haren played wild double bass and also painted the cover, singer Johan came up with almost all the lyrics, guitarist Harald came up with a thousand guitarparts and Twan thrashed the hell out of his bass. In December 1993 we rushed into the studio and Harry Wijering hit the record button. We quickly recorded six tracks plus an acoustic intro and that was it.
Meanwhile our underground name was rising. In January 1994 we played an sold-out releaseshow at the classy Kolpinghuis, Nijmegen, funded by the owners of Rockcafe Backstage Nijmegen. It marked the beginning of an underground journey, playing all the obscure and less obscure rock & metal venues in the Netherlands of those crazy 90ties. We partied hard and so did our followers. We did not play trendy or fashionable music but “melodic thrash” and by 1996 we recorded a final demo, meant for a recordcompany that, in the end, never offered us a deal. By 1997 the band changed dramatically, with a new singer, bassplayer and a 2nd guitarplayer. The remaining members Wily & Harald finally secured a worldwide recording deal and released 2 critically acclaimed records, toured Europe and finally disbanded in 2003.
Over the years we almost forgot about “Mend Or End”. We all moved on and played in other bands. The fans did not forget about the album and with the introduction of social media we became aware of the cult-like status the EP has got, in many corners of the world. It is hard to find and crazy prices are asked for “near mint” copies. So here it is, affordable, the remastered original recordings of “Mend Or End”, out now through Moshover Records. And as a bonus, some of the demo tracks of the 1st and 2nd demo. On top of all that 2 previously unreleased tracks. Enjoy and stay heavy. We know we will!!
Wily, Johan, Harald, Twan – October 2019
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