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Mastema - Golden World

Mastema
Golden World
by Gabriel “Svrtr” Zimmerman at 03 July 2017, 9:45 AM

Poland is often cited as being a hotbed for emerging metal acts, highly inspired by a plethora of geographic locations such as the Nordic Black and Death Metal scenes and more local folk or thrash metal bands (see BEHEMOTH or ARKONA), and as such polish metal bands can range greatly in their sound and influences. Enter today’s Progressive Death Metal band MASTEMA and their sophomore album Golden World. With such big names to compete with or be inspired by, let us dive right in.

The album opens with “Global Paranoia”, and the track is certainly unapologetically semi-chaotic for lack of a better word. The track opens fairly melodically with a softer guitar sequence and is interspersed with sudden drums that leave you guessing which one is the official opening, from there there are just sudden shifts here and there in the focus. Or rather, lack thereof as there does not seem to be focus. With an overall more thrash and Metalcore like sound, the complexity and  music theory focus of Prog and the brutality of Death Metal are not really here, and beyond this there is a closing spoken word term that deviated further from the track and can hardly be described as artistic choice because of how little sense it makes if I am completely honest. Following this is “Tanathosphere”, which does start off stronger admittedly, but suffers from the same chaotic sequence. To abruptly switch between sounds is not the problem per se, as plenty of bands weave together seemingly dissonant aspects to create a masterful tapestry of sound, but instead of a tapestry here is Frankenstein’s flesh heap. The only elements akin to Prog I can describe is perhaps a guitar technique here and there. And while there is a bridge that sounds decent and incorporates a rapid fire blast beat sound, as much as I love rapid drums they cannot save this song for me.

While there are tracks that err towards a more Death like sound, like “Molecular Propaganda”, they sound similar to death metal in the same way one could potentially argue GOJIRA is in the vein of Death Metal. Although overall sounding more composed and articulate, it comes off as a bit bland  in this case. It has a buildup that overstays its welcome  a tad bit and once the song starts it simply just doesn’t seem to go much of anywhere. The sound hardly deviates from a constant it builds, the chorus and verses hardly sound different, and one easily forgets they are listening to the song until over half way through when it begins to sound audibly different. Beyond this point it isn’t half bad, but nothing special overall.  The fact it takes so long to sound unique really hurts the song. As I said, it isn’t half bad, but being so short in the length of what sounds good is an incredible shame. Overall, the only redeeming quality of the album is its production. Everything is in incredible balance and helps to accentuate the sound incredibly. Beyond that I  cannot praise this album highly. Out of a sense of blandness or out of a sense of audiographic chaos, this album does not do well to sell itself. I hope that the band can improve its sound and find a niche, and perhaps delve more deeply into Progressive and Death like sounds, but for today I do not recommend this album.

Songwriting 3
Originality 4
Memorability 4
Production 8

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Global Paranoia
2. Tanathosphere
3. Hammer of Injustice
4. Cult of Silver
5. White Tavern
6. Molecular Propaganda
7. Those Who Oppose
8. Live Into Wealth
9. I’m Watching You
10. Humanimal
Lineup:
Kriss - Drums
Phobos- Guitars
Peter- Vocals
Muttley - Guitars
Karol Gącik - Bass
Record Label: Via Nocturna Records
     


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