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Mastord - Trail of Conseqence

Mastord
Trail of Consequence
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 28 March 2019, 6:40 AM

Well, this sure ain´t the most traditional story of making a record with a group of musicians and friends. This Prog Rock/Metal project/group was assembled during 2018, piece by piece. Kari did the demo of this record during 2016-2017 and played it to producer/engineer Teemu Aalto. The decision to find good and skillful players and vocalist to this project was made quite easily. Though the task was anything but easy – as it always is! Kari kept working with the songs, guitars and keyboard parts and the lyrics while trying to find players for the project. After very long search the first one in the final line up was brilliant drummer Mr. Toni Paananen from Hellsinki. Right after Toni, magical bass player Mr. Pasi Hakuli joined in to play the bass.

Now there were all the instrument tracks done, Toni´s drumming, Pasi´s bass lines and Kari´s guitars and synths. Kari was just about to throw the towel into the ring, when he met great vocalist, Mr. Markku Pihlaj at the local supermarket. This time Markku´s schedule had free spots here and there and the plan was made, that Markku could record vocal tracks at his own studio whenever he had time Vocal tracks was done at the autumn of 2018 and Teemu was released to do his magic on mixing. Teemu also sang the backing vocals while mixing the album with the other hand. Eventually we found some good people for angry vocals and talking parts too. Thank you Lauri Pikka and Kem Helenius! Their debut EP here contains five tracks.

The opening track. “Silence Screams,” is nearly eleven minutes in length. It opens with soft piano and clean emotional vocals. From there a fairly heavy riff makes an entrance, and keys join in. Pihlaia’s vocals remind me of Bruce Dickinson, with that heavy rasp he has. Dual guitar melodies join in at one point and the song seems to pick up steam and diversity as it moves along. “The Dark Side of Human Mind” is the behemoth on the album, clocking in at close to 19 minutes in length. It opens with trippy keys, like the song is going to take you to destinations unknown. The opening riff has a DREAM THEATER quality to it, followed by some dexterous bass guitar work. It has a dark snarl to it, as well as some shifting meters. The mid-section is marked by an instrumental “jamming” that is very well done. I thought they might get lost along the way in a 19 minute song, but they never quite did…though the string section was a bit lengthy.

Next, we have to fairly normal length songs. “Ocean of Hate” opens with a bluesy guitar solo and poignant vocals. He really stretches out to put a stamp on the vocals. The song is melancholy and full of despair. “Burden” moves in the other direction, with a fast picked riff from the get-go. Choppy accents and very raspy vocals in the verses…near Death Metal vocals but not quite there fully. Closing the album is the ten minute on the nose “Heritage.” It opens with a frail and pretty melody that evolves into a nice, fully rounded song. That opening riff is just spot on. Keys join in and then the harsh vocals return. It slows to take it all in towards the end. A spoken female voice talks about a female who is suicidal from abuse. It’s an interesting twist to an interesting album.

Overall, I found both moments of brilliance and moments of mediocrity. There were times when the motor got running and they were really off to something big and new. There were other times when they got lost it seemed. In the end, I’m not sure Markku Pihlaja was the right singer for the project. Don’t get me wrong, he has an amazing voice. It just didn’t seem to fit with the music…it was like shoving a square peg into a round hole. The other musicians were just fine however, and being that this was their debut, the can only go up from here.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Silence Screams
2. The Dark Side of Human Mind
3. Ocean of Hate
4. Burden
5. Heritage
Lineup:
Markku Pihlaja – Vocals
Kari Syvelä – Guitars & Keyboards
Pasi Hakuli – Bass
Toni Paananen – Drums
Record Label: Inverse Records
     


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