Oakland deathrock quintet Mystic Priestess have come forward with a rousing and powerful new track, “Smoke and Mirrors,” a foretaste of their upcoming EP, “Part Time Punk Sessions.” The Part-Time Punk Sessions will be released in full on March 27th and will be available on Mystic Priestess’s Bandcamp page.

“Smoke and Mirrors,” below, is a classic, powerful deathrocker of a track. Some sonic points of reference may be helpful: The song recalls the innovative strength of 80s UK groups like Blood and Roses or Brigandage, pioneers of the old British “positive punk” movement that led to the creation of gothic rock. As well, “Smoke and Mirrors” brings to mind the style of music played by Northern California colleagues in Crimson Scarlet: Driving and to-the-point, but with enough unsettling atmosphere to please fans of classic/trad gothic rock. Mystic Priestess announce that “Smoke and Mirrors” is a timely meditation on “facing the shadows of chaos in the world and revealing the facade of inauthenticity that creates self-doubt and division that keeps us following the herdsman and our own demise.” It’s a great song.

Mystic Priestess’ professed influences include the anarcho-punk of Crass Records bands as well as the classic deathrock of groups like early Christian Death, and those predecessors’ influences are indeed very in evidence on this new offering. Mystic Priestess’s spectral, guitar-driven sounds also incorporate some of the political feelings of the zeitgeist, giving voice to LGBTQ and feminist issues that instill the band’s music with a compelling and modern urgency, marrying the gothic-punk tradition to political concerns sometimes not commonly found in the darkwave scene. “Smoke and Mirrors” is a great example of Mystic Priestess’s top-shelf, witchy gothic punk rock.

Listen to Mystic Priestess’s “Smoke and Mirrors” below (or click here)

Mystic Priestess photo by Bailey Kobelin
Mystic Priestess from Oakland. Photo by Bailey Kobelin.

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