The purported mystical properties of mushrooms and stars should come as no surprise to anyone weaned on the exploits of the world’s most famous pixilated plumber. Having their mystical powers turned to the service of blackened crust punk makes sense by comparison.
Sporting a completely illegible logo, Mushroom Star channel the frigid ferocity and necro vibes of … OK… coastal Florida. While geographically smack in the center of surf and sun, spiritually and sonically the band is out exploring the inky emptiness between stars where unwholesome Old Ones lurk. Mushroom Star calls it “mystic punk metal.” To these old ears, its sounds like Dephosphorus’ punkier brother or Infernal Stronghold’s less frosty cousin amidst crust punk clamor and black metalled wailing and groaning (but also a band smart enough to know when to STFU and let the music carry the mystical message).
The seven songs are uplifting, transcendent and often inspired. Obviously recorded live in a rehearsal space, Mushroom Star’s demo turns in a blackened crust equivalent of “The Trooper” on the galloping “Snow” or the revels in the martial march of “Magus.” One of the demo’s better efforts, “From Womb to Tomb” lifts off from a trance-inducing spiraling riff at its core, going intergalactic. A high point of the whole effort is the drumming, which, on first glance, is not overly flashy but always seems slide in with a timely fill or a perfectly punctuated cymbal crash.
While, on the whole, this is pretty solid demo from a promising band, there is one very glaring exception. There is no polite way to say this, but the attempt at clean vocals and mystical chanting that ruin the first minute of “Truth of the Sword” are just awful. But if you can gut your way through the first 60 seconds, everything quickly rights itself and proceeds merrily along its black metallic way.
You can give it a listen for yourself here.