Mason – Impervious

We are not going to kid you by saying that it is the most unique album you will embrace this year, though bold adventure it certainly does not lack, but you will have to go a long way to find something as seriously rousing and simply enjoyable as Impervious. The new album from Australian thrashers Mason, it surges through ears with rabid energy and unbridled aggression and proceeds to raise the ante groove by searing groove and hook by virulent hook.

Bursting from the Melbourne music scene in 2007, Mason openly embraces the Bay Area thrash scene and the obvious protagonists in the genre’s general eighties borne assault and consumption of world metal. A self-titled debut EP of 2011 was followed by the band’s first album two years later, Warhead which included guest guitarist Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore) sparking far wider attention the way of the quartet. Its success was matched by that of second EP, Unmerciful last year and a live presence which over time has seen Mason share stages with the likes of Harlott, Havok, Accept, Revocation, Toxic Holocaust, Accept, Mutank, and Annihilator and play across Asia, Europe into Canada. Impervious looks and sounds like the key to the locks of the biggest spotlights and awareness, a tempest taking little time to get down to persuasive business.

The portentous lead of intro Eligos lures the listener straight into the waiting clutches of Burn. Within seconds it is careering through ears with predatory riffs and rhythms as vocalist/guitarist Jimmy Benson stirs things further with his eager snarls. Swiftly you can hear the touches of bands like Testament and Kreator in the song’s assault but only to enhance its oncoming and subsequently relentless irresistibility. Creative twists and turns come with a definite Mason identity to further entice and excite whilst the chorus amidst it all is manna for rock ‘n’ roll instincts. The track is superb, a rebel rousing, bone shaking treat setting the tone and adventure of things to come.

Tears of Tragedy is just as rapacious in energy and aggression next, the spiky tones of Benson as inspiring and tempting as his and fellow guitarist Grant Burns’ exploits. The rapier like swings of drummer Nonda T. and surly tones of Steve Montalto’s bass similarly stir spirit and appetite, their at times almost primal presence hungrily driving the sonic enterprise and assault of the song.  With fiery melodies and descriptive sonic weaves webbing the encounter, it is another stirring slice of full throttle thrash to match its predecessor.

Both tracks hint at an even bolder adventurousness and individuality in the Mason writing and imagination which is more pronounced within next up song, The Afterlife. It too has top gear in full use but wraps it in a melodic and technical prowess which is almost overwhelmed at times by the song’s ferocity but a constant impressive pleasure throughout. It too has a chorus which gets under the skin within one round of its anthemic call while pushing the album’s already lofty heights on again.

The album’s title track follows; its tone almost barbarous as it sizes up its victim before consuming the senses with ravenous riffs, biting rhythms, and sonic animosity, this all bound in a virulent contagion which infests the psyche with ease. Individual flair again is as open as the animosity within the song’s irresistible presence before Cross This Path descends like a pestilential horde upon the senses. Saliva and venom drips from Benson’s tones, violence from Nonda T swings as the track carnivorously chews on ears. It is a predation superbly tempered by the sonic dexterity of Burns and Benson, though every tendril spun and melody uncaged certainly sears the senses.

Sacrificed has plenty to live up to as successor to its mighty predecessor and with its sonic webbing and thunderous air gives it a potent shot if without quite making the last few steps. Nevertheless, the track captivates as it pushes evidence of an even bolder appetite unafraid to experiment imagination within the Mason sound and potential before Hellbent on Chaos savages and entices in equal measure. It too might lack the final sparks of earlier companions, such their heights and not its shortcomings, yet has body and spirit inescapably hooked on its creative scourge.

The album concludes with the apocalyptic mayhem of Created To Kill. With words unleashed in rapid fire to match the concentrated trespass of riffs and rhythms, the song devours the senses. The bass of Montalto is a murderous ingredient in the suggestive patterns of the guitar, its predacious intent as darkly inviting as the flying beats and rabid riffs are insatiable.

It is a stunning end to one outstanding encounter which will surely put Mason on the metal map with a forceful bang. The future of thrash metal is in good, old school inspired, but increasingly bolder and imaginative hands.

Impervious is available now

http://masonofficialmetal.com/    https://www.facebook.com/masonofficialband/    https://twitter.com/masonthrashband

Pete RingMaster 10/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Melvins – Everybody Loves Sausages

Melvins Everybody Loves Sausages hi res

Bands doing covers is always an intrigue if only to see what one assumes has inspired them but when it comes to whole albums of bringing forth hopefully re-invented versions past experiences usually show it is just a lead to disappointment. So many bands just produce the original in their own voice without seemingly using a thought to actually making the songs their own. Approaching Everybody Loves Sausages from the Melvins though there was only excited intrigue with doubts given no breathing space just because it was the Washington band, a group who has never just painted by numbers.  Of course there could still be a chance they would fall the way of so many others but the thirteen track triumph soon puts that notion to bed. The album is magnificent, a window into the as vocalist/guitarist Buzz Osborne explains, “This record will give people a peak into the kind of things that influence us musically.” Melvins do make the songs theirs and even those they approach using the template of the original it still offers twists and seditious creativity which only leads to lustful wonder.

Released via Ipecac Recordings, Everybody Loves Sausages as expected has a mischief across its length though also an open respect for the sounds and artists which inspired them. It is impossible to imagine the original creators of the songs being anything other than impressed and thrilled by the release even when some of the tracks actually outstrip the originals. The album sees the full line-up of Osborne, Dale Crover, Jared Warren and Coady Willis on the album though there are a trio of tracks with the Melvins Lite incarnation of the band on Osborne, Crover and Trevor Dunn.  It also sees plenty of guest appearances to add extra texture and riveting enterprise to the release.

The release opens with Warhead, the band faithfully brewing the seeds of the Venom black metal classic with the bite of Scott Kelly of Neurosis rearing its might on vocals and guitar. It is an immediate lure into the potently eclectic album, its abrasive snarl as anthemic and tempting as the original setting the senses off on a rush of anticipation as the following Queen track (You’re My) Best Friend steps forward with a surprising Nintendo like 8-bit beckoning. With Caleb Benjamin from Tweak Bird handling the vocals wonderfully, the song is a mellow caress with the veins of Mercury and co wrapping the ear from within the seductive and fiery touch of the Melvins. Though not as flamboyant as the original though with a broader pop invitation, it still brings a grandeur and showy embrace forth which leaves the listener warm and energised for more.

After the impossible to disapprove of take on the Ram Jam track Black Betty, the album breaks out its real glories starting firstly with Set It On Fire, an excellent track of The Scientists revived and given a fresh growl with Mark Arm of Mudhoney adding his ever outstanding vocals. It is an excellent aural scowl upon the ear which is then pushed into the shade by the stunning Station To Station. Already haunting and experimental in the hands of Bowie, Melvins turn it into a deeper more intimidating corrosive beauty. The opening industrial malevolence of everyday intensity stalks and congests the ear, a sonic ambience stinging the senses within the restrained yet bedlamic shadowed fuelled wash enveloping the listener and thoughts. From within a lone melodic figure steps forward accompanied by a carnivorous bass provocation before the guitars send sonic flames across the roof of the psyche bending track. With vocals from JG Thirlwell of Foetus bringing the narrative to vibrant life within the scuzzy cavernous texture, the eleven minute song is wonderful, its busy snarl a step into everyday life torture never investigated in the excellent original.

Further intense highlights to rival the pair come in the likes of the punk grazing Attitude with Clem Burke of Blondie joining the band on the Kinks song, the excellent Timothy Leary Lives, one of the tracks with the Melvins Lite line-up and a song which plays like a mix of Stan Ridgway and The Dickies, and an abrasive punk version of The Jam song Art School featuring Tom Hazelmeyer (founding member of Halo Of Flies and the proprietor of Amphetamine Reptile) on vocals and guitar. The last of the trio borders a Spinal Tap moment but pulls it off brilliantly with the fake cockney accent coming over like Danny Dyer playing Jimmy Pursey but recruiting the passions and sending them off with the devilment of the closing almost valid piss-take. To be honest every track is a gem, the choice of material and its re-working contagious with even tracks which held no place in the passions before now finding an elevated status in the arms of the Melvins.

Two more great moments come with the closing take of Throbbing Gristle’s Heathen Earth, the band re-inventing its existing brilliance and the stunning In Every Dream Home A Heartache. The Roxy Music track features Jello Biafra and ex-Melvins bassist Kevin Rutmanis, and is a delicious dark entry on the album and psyche. Opening on a funereal doomy entrancement with Biafra adding an irresistible psychotic lilt to the already shadowed provoking song, the band ignites further sonic flames and intense energies to stretch its chilling presence.

Everybody Loves Sausages is pure joy and an album to set standards for all others contemplating covering other’s material, with first key being do it with passion, something Melvins do everything with.

http://themelvins.net/

9/10

RingMaster 29/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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