Mental Cruelty – Zwielicht

Mental Cruelty - Zwielicht



3.8/5 Pros

  • Nice range of sounds
  • Good musical and vocal skills Cons

  • Too harsh plot changes

Time to add some more death metal to the Media Reviews of after the May 2021 release A Hill To Die Upon, it is the second time I introduce you to the music of the German band Mental Cruelty. Let’s see if I feel some cruel pain or deep enjoying while listening to their tunes.


Mental Cruelty – About The Artist

Mental Cruelty are from Karlsruhe, Germany. The band is working together since 2016 and have quite quickly been active in releasing music. They majorly sing in English, but also have scattered German parts and songs. Zwielicht is already the band’s fourth album. More bui can be found in the A Hill To Die Upon review.


Mental Cruelty – Zwielicht – Track by Track

The ten track album last 49 minutes.

1. Midtvinter

The album is just about to be released around midsummer – but the atmospheric opener is heading straight into the colder times – at least regarding the title. Thunder, atmospheric, slightly distorted sounds, marching rhythms and a choir in the background – this one is getting scary – the first 1:43 minutes already tell you.

2. Obsessis a Daemonio

Not sure if the remark that this song is containing Explicit lyrics is really necessary. Doesn’t the title of the first full length song tell you that message already? The sound is rough, just in line with the title. The middle part is pushing a bit too much for me… Sounds like my washing machine is having a serious damage. Towards the end of the song, the band is presenting a wider range of sounds. I feel their sound is better when they do so.

3. Forgotten Kings

The six minute single release Forgotten Kings feels like a battle of different vocals over a wider range of the song. After almost two minutes, the song also introduces some hymnic elements, which add a nice flavor to the sound of Mental Cruelty. The album moves towards black metal in here. Some breaks feel a bit too hard, but overall, it is a good listen.

4. Pest

If you don’t like growling, shouting and all the other weird sounds metal vocalists can create with their voice, better skip Pest – you won’t be able to stand the first half of the song anyway. Later, the band is presenting some really iconic work on the guitar and take you into some very atmospheric spheres. The hard breaks work quite well in here.

5. Nordlys

Nordlys is coming with a very different sound: brass-alike sounds, an almost acoustic intro. Overall, the melodies in the background majorly feel comparably gentle. However, Lukas Nicolai and his band mates definitely introduce the right elements (especially on the vocal side) to make it sound as a Mental Cruelty song.

6. Mortal Shells

Metal lovers might even feel that this one is “rhythmic”, “swaying” or “groovy”. The Germans definitely introduce some really interesting sections to this song. I wouldn’t rate Mortal Shells to be one of the best ones of the album, but it adds a lot of value in the context of the ten tracks. Thrash lovers will love these six minutes.

7. Zwielicht

After I guided you through the first six tracks of the album, how would you guess the title track to sound alike? Right, it is a German lyrics medieval style song with a folk touch. I am sure you guessed that 😉 These kind of surprises are the elements defining a high level of entertainment on this 2023 release.

8. Symphony of a Dying Star

After these folk-alike, harmonic tunes, the Karlsruhe band is pushing with full metal force from the very beginning. There is screaming, grunting, symphonic sounds. Danny Staßer on the drums is making the beats per minute count explode. Nonetheless, the band is presenting a very variable sound with very different element. This is what Symphony of a Dying Star turns to be a great release (the video includes the harmonic title track as well, by the way).

9. The Arrogance of Agony

The ninth song is one of the most fluent songs of the album. The breaks are not that heavy, so that you have a more harmonic feeling while listening. A matter of taste – but I definitely enjoy that style. Sorry for being a soft metal listener.

10. A Tale of Salt and Light

A rock album needs to finish with a bang, a ballad or an epic song somehow. A Tale of Salt and Light is definitely not a ballad, but the 7:32 minutes are something in between of the other two things. The song comes with so many ups and downs, I feel like being in a rollercoaster. However, the drops are a bit too much here and there. I definitely don’t have to throw up after the ride, but I also wouldn’t board again or recommend it to my friends.


Mental Cruelty – Zwielicht – Spotify

Here is Zwielicht on Spotify:


Mental Cruelty – Zwielicht – My View

I absolutely enjoyed A Hill To Die Upon. Unfortunately, I have to say that Zwielicht is not bad, but I feel it is definitely worse than its predecessor. Here and there, the band is just pushing for too much, which leads to plots in some songs, which feel rather random. Nonetheless, I feel that the Mental Cruelty signature has its fans and they will praise the band’s 2023 release.


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