Mean Messiah – Hell

mm_RingMasterReview

As January shared its last days, Hell was unleashed in the form of the debut Mean Messiah album. It was the re-release of an invasion of the senses which left only one question in its furious wake. Just how did we like so many others, miss it first time around.

The release is an ear withering, pleasure igniting storm of industrial death/thrash metal with much more to its irritable heart and searing blaze of sound. To simplify things it is a tempest resembling a raging tapestry of Revocation, Strapping Young Lad, and Fear Factory woven with strands of the likes of Cryptopsy, Blood Simple, and Static X yet stands as something distinctly individual to the imagination and roar of Mean Messiah.

The Czech Republic hailing band started out as the one man project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Dan Friml, formerly of Sebastian, Apostasy and many other projects. The winter of 2005 saw him begin work on his first album, its release intended for the following year but delayed and delayed by numerous problems and complications before being completed in 2013. Since then its line-up has expanded, bassist Veronika Smetanová and drummer Honza Šebek joining Friml as he took Mean Messiah live, proceeding to play the biggest festivals in the Czech Republic such as Masters Of Rock, Czech Death Fest, Agressive Fest, Basinfirefest, and Gothoom.

With the band working on a second album for release later this year to follow 2016 EP Let Us Pray, Mean Messiah and Via Nocturna has uncaged Hell again for a formidable and compelling reminder and wake up call for fans and newcomers alike. With its concept themed by people´s varied complicated journeys and destinies inevitably leading to hell, the album makes a calm, welcoming entrance though dark clouds and portentous sounds are soon looming over and invading the imagination as opener Temple of Hell grows in ears. Melodies are enticing yet sinister, rhythms predatory but restrained until throwing off their deceit and storming the barricades. From there grooves and hooks seduce as riffs and beats persist in their invasive intent as Friml’s potent tones snarl. That earlier descriptive comparison is in full swing as the track shares its dangerous and captivating virulence.

cover_RingMasterReviewThe track is superb, using familiar textures in a new and fresh design before being matched in might and success by King Pathetic. The strong unpredictability underlining its predecessor is potent again, and across the whole album to be fair, prowling the vicious rhythmic tenacity and intoxicatingly venomous melodic and sonic web covering the song. Bracing and intrusive, things are punishingly catchy as thrash and death metal enterprise roar with angry rapacity as industrial essences beckon further involvement in the progressively toned fury.

As the second built on and eclipsed the first, Spiritual Resolution breaches a new plateau of persuasion next, scavenging and thrilling the senses with its nagging choleric character while The Death Song with matching toxic dispute stalks and savages the listener with raw infectious enterprise. The first of the two weaves progressively honed melodic suggestiveness while the second lets its bestial ferocity drive the thrilling show.

Hell is the perfect name for sound and theme within the album, the first echoing and fuelling the latter as found in The Last Ride which follows. In many ways the outstanding song is the least corrosive on the album, its swinging rhythms and magnetic grooves rousing infection but there is no escaping its instinctive animosity and barb littered acrimony. With orchestral beauty and atmospheric harmonies colluding with warm melodies, it is sheer magnetism, only intriguing and griping tighter as its growing imagination borders schizophrenic.

The Game gnaws on the senses next, its riffs and beats an enjoyably persistent abrasion colluding with lust igniting electronics. Its irresistible stomp provides another appetite inflaming highlight within Hell, one more to the growing list joined by the dark instrumental climate and dance of Saltatio Mortis and the fiercely catchy caustic devouring of ears and soul cast by The End. Folk bred hues unite with extreme and groove spawn endeavour in the first with its successor a brawl of truculent rock ‘n’ roll, both as imaginative and expectations defeating as they are, certainly in the case of the second, emotionally primal.

Completed by bonus track Remedy, another ridiculously tempting slab of thrash nurtured, creatively evocative music which needs no vocal side to excite and inspire the imagination, Hell grabs the listener by the throat and takes them on one brutally thrilling ride from start to finish. It also lays down a mighty benchmark its successor will be judged by but it is hard to imagine Mean Messiah failing to live up to the challenge with their now keenly anticipated second full-length.

Hell is out now through Via Nocturna across most online stores digitally and on CD.

http://www.meanmessiah.com   http://www.facebook.com/meanmessiah   http://twitter.com/MeanMessiah

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Onward Chariots: This is My Confession

on ch

    This is My Confession from Onward Chariots is one of those albums which though it does not quite light a raging fire in the belly or hold a firm grip on ones attention from start to finish, it is a release which is hard to tear away from. The band has a sound which is a delicious hybrid of indie pop and progressive rock with a continually changing wash of extra steamy additives.  Because of this their debut album is a consistently intriguing and engaging release which leaves a warmth and satisfaction that cannot be denied or dismissed.

Onward Chariots is the invention of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Ben Morss, an artist who has toured the world, played with Californian acid-jazz group 11:11, and arranged and played on albums for artists like Cake. He is also a music geek who has immersed himself in the sounds and creativity of Peter Bjorn & John, Belle & Sebastian, Yo La Tengo and The Beatles, a collection of artists amongst others which the album suggests have flavoured his own invention. Originally Morss recorded under the name Chariots of Tuna, which from accounts was a relatively short-lived project but in 2008 when Morss was playing in the Infinite Orchestra alongside Dan Davine (drums), Shawn Setaro (guitar), and Rus Wimbish (bass), the quartet came together to create melodic intricacies of pop which they mutually longed to make. This moment in time was the first official steps of Onward Chariots. The following year saw three songs posted online which led to strong responses and acclaim worldwide through blogs and fans with the band being compared to the likes of The Beach Boys, Beulah, The Shins and Belle and Sebastian. Festival appearances and radio play earned the band further recognition over the subsequent years leading to through Skipping Stones Records the unveiling of their first release.

The album is themed by the concept of boy meets girl, the tracks playing with premises and emotions from the varied teases of love.onward-chariots It begins with the golden showers of sonic elegance brought by the semi instrumental Opening. Twinkling melodies, warm harmonies, and brass borne kisses light the sky before a fiery energy intervenes to lead into This Is My Confession I. A wonderful throaty guitar sound introduces the track to remind of the first days of Killing Joke before opening into a pungent press of heavy rock sturdiness and the welcoming vocal lilt of Morss. Into its stride the song is an insistent and magnetic pleasure with an equal depth of sinewy allure and infectious melodic teasing.

The following Mel Gibson is a lighter pop rock romp with plays like a mix of Weezer and Union Starr. It is a peppy piece of energy which continues the impressive start. It is as catchy as a virus and takes the ear on a stroll of punchy rhythms and eager to please melodies which do not have to ask twice. There is also, to be not the only time on the album, a persuasive eighties breath to the song which adds to the engagingly textured musical poetry.

Following songs Sisters and Brothers with its heated Jan and Dean like harmonies and smoky trumpet persuasion and I Just Met a Girl with its jumpy swing recalling the classy tones of Town Called Malice, both without igniting the emotions as strongly as the earlier songs, leave the listener buoyant over their melodic and infectious rhythmic invitations. Though the album offers some instantaneously connecting songs it is generally more of a grower with the likes of When You’re Smiling and the harmonically glowing Mama along with the previous two songs, eventually earning their place in ones praise through the continual pleading of their tenderly crafted hearts across many plays.

The sixteen track release closes its first part with the heavier stomp of This Is My Confession II, a superior re-working of the first full song which then takes us into arguably the strongest part of album where songs like the mesmeric Forever Never Ends with its sultry melodic glaze shimmering across a seductive bassline, You Don’t Have To Be Unhappy, and I Want Everything reach stirring heights and hit the passions with the cleanest accuracy. The second of the trio has a great hook to start off its playtime of sixties pop and an addictive swagger complete with further impressive harmonies which feel Four Seasons inspired. It is a wonderful song equalled by the charging rock urgency of I Want Everything, a song which incites instinctive ardour for its outstanding rampancy.

Though it ebbs and flows in stature a little too much to be elevated to the highest echelons of acclaim, This is My Confession is a thoroughly enjoyable album. Certainly it takes its time to persuade but eventually does with style and deserves for all to take a stroll within its warm heart.

http://www.onwardchariots.com

7/10

RingMaster 14/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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