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Black Mass – Feast Of The Forbidden Tree

Black Mass
Feast Of The Forbidden Tree
by Thomas Kumke at 04 October 2021, 2:38 AM

BLACK MASS hailing from Boston, Massachusetts are a Thrash Metal band and they were formed in 2013.They released so far three demos, one EP, and “Feast Of The Forbidden Tree” is their third full-length album. It was recorded and mixed at Mystic Valley Studio in Boston and it was mastered at Enormous Door Mastering. The album was released via Cleveland’s Redefining Darkness Records which has a number of Death, Thrash, and Black Metal bands among their roster. It has a length of more than 41 minutes. No song was released as video yet.

Feast Of The Forbidden Tree” is a seamless continuation of the band’s second album “Warlust” and it is a time travel back to the mid-eighties. BLACK MASS offer nine tracks of pure old school Thrash Metal in every aspect. The album starts with an intro which is somehow split into two parts: a dark, keyboard and organ driven part followed by a sequence of Thrash Metal riffs that could open any good track. However, that second part gives an indication what to expect: speed metal attacks with fast and crisp guitar riffs and crunching bass sequences. “Unholy Libations” continues with the outburst in speed and I immediately felt being back in 1985, listening to one of my copies of an early EXODUS album on cassette. BLACK MASS do not reinvent the wheel, they use the well-established Thrash sound without compromise: fast and catchy guitar riffs, harsh vocals often with a higher pitched voice and occasional screams. The drums include a lot of double-bass and occasionally a few blast beats. “Dead To The World” continues with that, but has more aggression and anger than the preceding track. When I listened to the first part of the track, ONSLAUGHT came to my mind. The riffing in “Dead To The World” is pretty simple, effective, and includes a few Punk vibes.

A.S.H.E.S.” starts with a head-banging, almost stomping rhythm before it transitions into a fast galloping rhythm where the bass is driving the song forward. The song has slightly more complex textures compared to the other songs and this change is a very good one. “A Path Beyond” uses again the well-tried formula: fast and aggressive guitar riffing at high speed. The middle part of the track is a bit more Heavy Metal-oriented including the lead guitar solo. “Nothing Is Scared” includes catchy guitar riffing and melodies and the middle part has pretty chaotic changes in tempo and melodies. “They Speak In Tongues” is the only song entirely played at mid-tempo. It is groovy and more a mix between Thrash and Heavy Metal.

Betrayal” and “Blood Ritual” finish the album in style: blistering pace, razor-sharp guitar riffs, hammering drums, and good old Thrash Metal vocals. “Betrayal” is probably the fastest song on the album, it has plenty of EXODUS vibes, a very comprehensive lead guitar solo, and is surely one of the highlights of the album.

Traditional Thrash Metal is alive! “Feast Of The Forbidden Tree” includes the best elements of Thrash Metal: speed, aggression, sharp guitar riffing, pummeling drums, and the aura of the mid-eighties when Metal was at its very best. BLACK MASS deliver a homage to that time period, but still maintain a uniqueness of their sound. The band has also improved their sound and their songwriting compared to earlier releases. I was never a fan of productions that sound like 30+ years ago, however I appreciate that fans will like it and it really fits to the album. Fans of traditional Thrash Metal will be delighted with the album and looking forward to see BLACK MASS playing live thrashing till Death.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Unholy Libations
3. Dead To The World
4. A.S.H.E.S.
5. A Path Beyond
6. Nothing Is Scared
7. They Speak In Tongues
8. Betrayal
9. Blood Ritual
Brendan O’Hare – Vocals, Guitars
Alex Fewell – Drums
Cristian Azevedo – Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Redefining Darkness Records


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Edited 03 February 2023

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