Hello again! In today's album review, we have a special treat - 2 albums, specifically Prophecy and Alchemy by MYST (Eugen Boorsma) They're both mini albums/EPs, containing 6 tracks each. And, let me tell you, these 12 tracks are absolute masterpieces of the melodic raw (sometimes referred to as rawphoric) subgenre of hardstyle. Wait a moment ya cuck, what the hell is melodic raw? For those who aren't really into hardstyle, let me explain. Hardstyle has a bunch of subgenres, the main ones being euphoric and raw. Euphoric hardstyle is more melodic and emotional, while raw hardstyle (rawstyle) is less melodic and much harder (think of it like a sweetspot between hardstyle and hardcore). Melodic raw is a combination of these two, with euphoric melodies and raw kicks. That's the simplest explanation. MYST is one of the most popular melodic raw artists and probably my favorite hardstyle artist right now. That being said, let's get to the albums.
for a more professional overview, check out u/Album_Dude's reviews of Prophecy and Alchemy
The first album is MYST's 2017 masterpiece by the name of Prophecy. You can listen to it on YouTube, Spotify or buy it.
Cover art - The cover here is literally nothing special. Eugen's generic ass press photo slapped on a pretty cool background + the 3 symbols. What are they? MYST makes mainly 3 styles of raw/melodic raw (yes, he broke down a subgenre of a subgenre to 3). Honestly, I have no idea which is which, but you'll know the 3 when you listen. The cover is okay, but doesn't really stand out. He can do much better than this (as you'll see in a few minutes).
- Before You Go - M-M-MAKE HISTORY BEFORE YOU GO! This track is absolute fire. Starting with the mid-intro, the kick is hard and represents what MYST can do with raw. The break comes with a great atmosphere and the melody begins. It's one of MYST's best melodies and words can't really describe it. You just have to listen to it yourself. The track features 2 samples - Made You Look by Nas and Life Is What You Make It by Nas & DMX (he really likes sampling rap, as you'll see later). I'd say that Eugen really made history with this one, except he thankfully didn't go anywhere yet
- Young And Reckless - Sampling Don't Give A Fuck by Blaq Poet, this takes us to the harder side of MYST's raw. The mid-intro alone sets you to the track's mood with really good screeches and a typical MYST kick. After the break, we get the first glimpse at the melody which is almost as good as Before You Go. When the climax finally hits, it really makes you wanna dance. One of the best tracks on the albums.
- Creatures Of Destruction - After the beautiful Before You Go and Young And Reckless, this track kinda feels like a disappointment. That doesn't mean it's bad, it's just not as good. The kick is what you'd expect from MYST, except with a very simple melody that almost feels too simple for this kind of artist. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the sample.
- Hear My Breath (feat. Snowflake) - Okay, honestly, I have no idea who Snowflake is. The track starts with spoken female vocals and a piano intro. After that, the melody kicks in and, boy, it's equally as good as Before You Go. The kick sounds almost exactly as BYG too, because this track is the sequel/companion to it. That's pretty much all I can say about it.
- The Greatest Nightmare - ...to review it. No, seriously. Okay, let's try. The intro melody is very good and the melody is decent. Kick is, again, very MYSTypical (ha!). Sample is from Soulcalibur 2. Not much to say about this one either.
- Cut Your Nuts - The moment I heard the good ol' "m'kay", I chuckled. This is the second time MYST sampled South Park, the first one being 2016's Man Bear Pig. The kick is on the aggressive side with a lot of bitcrush. The screeches aren't as important here. But in the second drop, they're awesome. There's also the needless triplet drop being needless because it sucks.
- Before You Go
- Young And Reckless / Hear My Breath (feat. Snowflake)
- Cut Your Nuts
This is MYST's second album from 2018. Listen to it on YouTube, Spotify or buy it.
Cover art - Okay, this one is quite a piece of art. It used to be my wallpaper. Why? It's absolutely beautiful, with no generic press photos or heavy branding. There's a big, futuristic city colliding with some rocks, with super shiny and reflective floor. A huge hand (statue?) holds a ball with the artist name. Under the hand, we see the same 3 symbols from Prophecy. The 5 people might reference 5 MYST tracks on the album (there are 6 tracks but one is a remix). They probably don't, but overanalysis is fun. Either way, this is great poster and wallpaper material.
- From The Ashes - Mate, 3 different vocal samples! I-Gittin by Blaq Poet (oh shet he cut out the dreaded n-word!!!1111!!1!1!), Lose Yourself by Eminem and Love Sensation by Loleatta Holloway. With this amount of sampling, you'd expect the track to be pretty damn groundbreaking and, fortunately, it is. The melody is executed perfectly, while the kick is pretty experimental with a lot of bitcrush. Not everybody likes this, but I sure as hell love it.
- The Wickedest One - The melody is simply a dream come true. Hands down one of the best melodies of 2018, with a great kick to back it up too. Sample is The Grand Leveler by Apathy.
- Opinions Of Me - Sample is Bulletproof by Attila and, lemme tell you, I really love this track. Weakest on the album? Hell no, it's one of the best ones by Eugen ever. It's an absolute dancefloor smasher with a really aggressive kick and a simple but fitting melody.
- Find My Way - The sampled vocals from Where Are You Going? by Katdrop fit the theme of this track perfectly since it's the most melodic on the album. It really feels like a continuation of Before You Go and, well, that's all you need to know.
- Echo (feat. Sound Rush, Elyn) - I never expected Sound Rush to collab with a raw artist and, well, the only Sound Rush you can hear is like 1/4 of the melody. If this was released without SR, nobody would complain. But still, it's a really solid track with a great melody and perfect vocals by Elyn.
- Before You Go (High Voltage Remix) - Can the BYG monster be remixed and not ruined? Let's see. This remix by HV starts with a long ass intro featuring a sample from Prison Break. The mid-intro kicks in with this really experimental kick but it gets back to the trusted and safe raw territory. The main climax is breathtaking, featuring an almost-melody (?) and the main, unchanged melody from the original. Honestly, it's just as good, if not better than the original, mostly because of the way cleaner and more professional mixing and mastering
- The Wickedest One / Before You Go (High Voltage Remix)
- Find My Way
- Opinions Of Me / From The Ashes
So, which one should you listen to? Both. No, really, go and listen to both. If you're a fan of MYST's melodic raw style, you'll love it. If you're not, you'll love it too. Which one is better? Your opinion may be different, but for me it's obvious - Alchemy is way better with cleaner mixes and more consistency. But, seriously, listen to both.
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