Monday, December 23, 2013

Masada-Hideous Rot 12" MLP

Blood Harvest

Masada, who are a (currently) two-piece Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based act, was formed back in 2008 with their first demo, the well-received "Suffer Mental Decay", having been released in 2011. This five-track release combines the two tracks from said demo along with three new numbers. The band, which features in it's ranks Cazz "The Black Lourde of Crucifixion" Grant (Crucifier, ex-Grand Belial's Key), plays old-school death metal and, other then the oddity that is "Fluteotherapy" (featuring Clive Jones from 70's occult-rockers Black Widow and Agony Bag), this release is fairly standard in that regard. But standard can be good. Along with vocalist Cazz Grant (who also handles drums on the newer material) the "group" currently features guitarist/bassist Chris Milewski who first conceived of this band with "the intention of not only creating aggressive music, but also something that involved uniqueness and thought." To that end he did succeed...or at least to a point. While his take on classic death metal is cool and all having "Fluteotherapy" as the second track on this release really mucks with the flow. After you have already started off right with the newer track "Hideous Cerebral Pulp" (which, even at it's oddest, still crackles with the sincerest of older death metal's charm), you throw in this number that is just the sound of someone (seemingly) attempting to play flute with one hand while using the other hand for more, well, "personal" matters! Huh? You go from grizzly death metal to, uh-hum, flute porn! Why? It's one thing to be "experimental" and then it's another thing entirely to take a WIDE turn left out into the middle of nowhere! If you skipped that track then the rest of this EP would have a simple-enough flow to it to make this one really compelling for classic death metal fanatics. The thing is Chris' version of death metal is not just "old-school" (as seems to be the case with a ton of newer bands these days-look backwards for your future inspirations) in the sense of the music's actual construction. Rather from the way it's played to the way in which it was recorded this one sounds, smells and tastes like an OLD death metal recording. So why the weird throwaway track then? I have no idea. Back to this release though and I will have to say that while I personally like that it has a raw, unpolished, demo-like quality going for it (as it reminds me of my high-school tape trading days) a release like this (which shows it's wear and tear in the way in which it was produced) might end up turning more death metal fanatics off then turning them on. No pun intended. Somewhere down the road there is probably more of a balanced approach to be found as far as production goes so I wouldn't let that be too much of a turn off. I'd instead save the turn-off for weird flute porn, but that's just me. Anyway, it will be worth checking back in with this band in the future to see (or rather hear) what they might be able to make off a full-length recording. For now Masada has my attention, but maybe not for all the right reasons you would expect!

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