Sunday, March 04, 2007

Say Good-bye To Those Pesky Thrash Vocalists!

I know I said I was going to be reviewing Twin Obscenity this week, but do to unfortunate circumstances (I was busy at work) I couldn't give the band my full attention. However, in lieu of underrated viking metal, I'll be giving you phenomenal thrash metal.

Take a moment and think about all the great thrash metal you grew up with, early Metallica, Slayer, Death Angel and Exodus. Now take them and throw 'em in a blender and you have the blistering thrash assault that is Toronto's Mastery. Oh did I mention to remove the vocalists? Well after several attempts with various singers, Mastery just couldn't find one they liked. They also didn't want to pass up any opportunities to bring their old school thrash gems to the stage, so they started playing gigs without a vocalist. And you know what? They don't need one.

Markus Armellini and Jeff Dormer are a monster riff duo with impressive thrash guitar work that has not been heard in a number of years. And while they wax nostalgic, Anthony Ristovski pounds away a crushing rhythm section on bass and Kevan Roy is hungry for destruction as he crushes on drums. This is damned fine thrash metal. And hey, feel free to pick out your favourite classic thrash homages while you listen.

I have yet to see them live, but would like to sometime soon, however, I liked the cover of the album and gave them a listen to and was simply blown away. While waiting for the singer to start wailing (before I realized they didn't have one) I was in awe of the metal assault on my ears and realized the music is all the more intense without vocals.

Mastery's EP "Lethal Legacy" is 40 odd minutes of mind-blowing thrash with little room to breathe. It has 6 songs and 2 live recordings (that are outstanding in quality) and blasts through them so fast that one feels they've lost time somewhere and can't remember what happened.

The album starts with "Behold", a short dark melodic intro that builds into the furiously fast "Power Race" and it's pummeling riffs and melodically heavy mid-section. We are then assaulted by "Numeration" which is my favourite track (though only because I feel I should pick one) that's not quite as fast, but no less intense as "Power Race". I feel that "Numeration" combines a nice blend of various thrash styles and influences into a perfect medley.

"No Tomorrow" sounds pessimistic, but leaves me optimistic about the future of thrash metal. Kevan Roy is a monster on the drums with this track. "Lethal Legacy" is a little more chaotic and features some fine soloing by Jeff Dormer (labeled lead guitarist, but don't quote me). "Nevermore" is another song that touches on musical influences like Slayer and at times Pantera. It's a grooving fist pounding tune that fades us out of the studio tracks.

"Numeration" is the first of the live tracks and although there is more of an atmospheric feedback intro the song is very much the same and seamlessly transitions into "Power Race" the other live track which is faithfully done with some extra guitar flourishes to sends us on our way.

Mastery has brought back all the great thrash sounds and molded them into metal that's reminiscent of days past while staying very fresh and original. Feel free to sample their stuff on their MySpace page and see for yourself. This is a great album for strong, aggressive thrash metal that leaves you wondering what the hell happened.

Up next, I swear, is Twin Obscenity ... till then ...

4 Comments:

Blogger Chana said...

work getting you extra busy eh? hope things settle nicely.

i do hope you get to see them live for it would make you happy..and happy is certainly the least i wish for you.

hugs to the family.

7:35 AM  
Blogger anonymous jones said...

Hanson. Do you love Hanson? I love Hanson. MMMMBop! Nothing metal about them, though, unless the oldest one's braces count but that was a long time ago ... . Anyway, I was wondering if you have heard how Lordi have opened up a restaurant? They have great dishes like "headless chicken" and stuff. Who has the best metal band restaurant? Wanna do a review?

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Rhodeislandrock said...

In the last 3 visits to the local shop, all within the last 10 days, I have stopped and had a look at this album. It's displayed in plain view in the 'M' section and you can't help but notice the cover. I've passed on it each time but I just Googled the band over the weekend and dug what I heard. I went to the shop today and it was gone! I'll be ordering online.

8:56 PM  
Blogger DPTH International said...

Thanks Chana, I hope you and your family are doing well.

Jones: I wouldn't eat at Ozzy's restaurant I hear it's mostly bat.

Rhode: good luck, the album is quite good.

10:09 AM  

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