Mist has been slowly making a name for themselves since forming back in 2012. About a year later, the then all-female doom metal project unleashed their first demo to plenty of praise by those who knew where to look for this occult-theme slab of goodness. In the time that followed, lead guitarist Nina Grizoni? parted ways with the group, finding Blaž Tanšek (ex-Teleport) taking up the helm in her absence. The five-piece from Ljubljana, Slovenia had also signed with Soulseller Records to unleash their official debut EP, Inan. But, with one of the original members now gone, does it capture the same magic as their demo from two years prior, or does this new outing at least stand as strong?

Inan actually ends up two different styles of doom metal lumped into one four song offering, though all with a superb audio quality that accentuates those differences nicely. The guitars have a deeper tuning that provides a subtle crushing tone to the music that already has a heavy focus on the bass guitar itself, as well as a solid drum presence with everything tuned just right to capture the sixties era of doom in the kicks and cymbals, while a tribal/ritualistic tone can be felt through the rest of the kit. Even the vocals vary for each of the worlds, showing more of an eccentric approach during the title track on par with the likes of Dio and even early Candlemass, while the latter three have more of a rock approach similar to Black Sabbath and the late The Devil's Blood.

"Inan" has a rich chugging approach with vocals a little more on the enthusiastic side, both still retaining that hypnotic element that make the whole occult rock style so addicting. The problem with it is that the track itself just isn't all that memorable, caving to many tropes of the genre much of the time that doesn't really lead you anywhere. Even when the pace slows to bring in a bleak ritualistic rhythm about half way through, and again just past two minutes in with haunting clean vocal harmonizations and eerie riffs backed by a commanding beat, it's hard to walk away from this track anything more than mildly satisfied, especially the more you listen to it. Thankfully, this doesn't quite cover the last three tracks.

"Frozen Velvet" introduces the occult ideals bands like The Devil's Blood and Jess and The Ancient Ones often bring to the table, bracing you for the next nearly fifteen minutes of the effort. This one, however, does find a little seventies, possibly eighties rock influence thrown in for the first half, complete with a bit of grit to the otherwise sleeker sounding darkness. This changes by the half way point, treading into a slow chugging doom metal approach Nina's seductive voodoo ritual-esque vocals feed into. "Under the Night Sky" has its quicker moments, but for the most part the music feels as though you have been bewitched, slapped into a trance with the caster's voice stuck in your head, especially as it whips around like it were on the wind just before the forlorn guitar solo hits just past two minutes in. Finally there's "Phobia", which carries itself with a hint of Mercyful Fate attitude between bouts that creep along, such as during the solo and certain bridges.

After all four songs play out, Mist leaves you wanting more in both good and bad ways. While infectious, Inan just doesn't quite have the same magic overall as the band's Demo 2013 had. This isn't to say it's bad, but a far better representation of what the group is about that doesn't quite get the point across well enough. Inan ends up a far more casual encounter, only playing up the ritualistic atmospheres in small batches instead of making it a priority. Truthfully, the band easily excels at the slower, crushing material, than it does the far more excitable that appears on the title track, as this gives the five-piece a chance to explore the voodoo and gypsy aspect of their sound that leaves you a slave to the music and varying subtle emotions of the vocals. Hopefully Mist continues to expand in that direction for further efforts but, for now, Inan only teases the potential the band has yet to fully unlock.

Review originally posted at Apoch's Metal Review.