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Mason - Impervious Award winner

by Jason “Monotonija” McCraw at 10 January 2018, 4:59 PM

"Impervious" by Australian quartet MASON is a powerhouse of a Speed/Thrash album that the Beast himself would be utterly proud of had he been given the chance to take it for a spin. While most reviews of this band tend to compare them to the Big Four, I find them akin to acts such as TESTAMENT, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, and EXHORDER as well. Regardless of any drawn comparisons, MASON remains in a category all their own, and this album says it all.

The record opens with a small but powerful intro, then slams home with track two, "Burn". Immediately showcased is the strong rhythm section, consisting of pulverizing bass lines, and drums that couldn't be played more precisely if a machine had actually programmed them. Then, lead guitarist Grant Burns unleashes the first in a string of eye-popping solos, and it is instantly evident that this guy is going to give guitar God Alex Skolnik a run for his money, and then some. In other words, the guitar work on "Burn" (as well as throughout the rest of the album) is second to none. Period.

Mason is a band more known for their stage performances than their studio recordings; however, "Impervious" may just balance the two out a bit. The production level achieved while producing this album is far beyond mere magnificence, giving the listener a chance to hear and grasp every subtle nuance of each individual sound at any given moment - even when said sound would be thought to be absolutely obscured by all of the complex instrumentation going on simultaneously throughout the majority of the record. The vocals are constantly clear and crisp, and the mixing is perhaps the most superb I've ever heard for a genre that usually dismisses such a feat as sugar-coating. It is a pleasant surprise, to say the least.

Track after track, MASON bring the thunder. The guitars are as thick as century-old redwood trees and the drums carry them nicely with plenty of double-bass blast beats and accurately timed stop-and-starts. Track eight displays all of this and then some, and its title, "Hellbent On Chaos", fits the mood that it creates flawlessly. This track flows gracefully into the last song on the album, "Created To Kill", which exhibits some wickedly tricky time changes, fantastic breaks, and yet another guitar solo with the power to bend the mind. Overall, MASON’s "Impervious" doesn't skimp on musicianship in lieu of its obviously time consuming, impressive recording process. Rather, it combines the two, making for an extremely enjoyable listen in its entirety. This is definitely another one of those that you won't want to miss!

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Eligos
2. Burn
3. Tears Of Tragedy
4. The Afterlife
5. Impervious
6. Cross This Path
7. Sacrificed
8. Hellbent On Chaos
9. Created To Kill
James Benson - Vocals/Guitars
Nonda T - Drums
Grant Burns - Guitars
Steve (Gurnz) Montalto - Bass
Record Label: Independent


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