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Mean Messiah – Divine Technology Award winner

Mean Messiah
Divine Technology
by Santiago Puyol at 06 July 2020, 9:33 PM

Czech Industrial/Death Metal band MEAN MESSIAH are back with "Divine Technology" and seem to be embracing Progressive and Avant-Garde influences on this seven-track journey. Through its almost 40 minutes in length, the band shift in sound and overall aesthetic with impressive skill, delivering a mix of accessible and complex songwriting, as well as dark, heavy tracks alongside theatrical Prog miniepics.

The album opens with sombre piano playing. "Interment Of Ashes/Hello Again!" covers amazing ground during its nine minutes. Chromatic percussion and dramatic orchestral flourishes makes it closer to a horror movie soundtrack. Choral voice makes it fuller and more intense. It builds towards an explosive and uplifting chorus, a lot like a Devin Townsend track. Shifting to harsher territory midpoint through, slapping hard as it goes full-on heavy assault.

The title track is brutal, filled with frantic drumming and noisy guitar right out of the bat. Effected vocals fit the music and help build tension, while the drums go for a Samba-tingled rhythm. Another uplifting chorus like the previous track. The mix of orchestral/synthesized elements with the metal sound feels truly organic, the songwriting is simply amazing. A clear example is the very cinematic use of slow passages and even silences on the song. The drummer does an outstanding work, his sense of rhythm is impeccable and just knows how to fill in spaces or let a song breathe.

"The Beast" is a high-energy, dark song with some truly demonic high-pitched harsh vocals, conjuring some kind of Beast. There are some fun electronic elements in the mix, reaching to the Industrial backbone of the band, and the synth layering adds a nice counterpoint to the guitar and vocal melodies.

Another lengthy, proggy track comes with "Blood Of Sirens/The Call." Atmospheric and sinister clean guitar lines. The vocal work and laying is superb, layers and layers of voices in different tones, some of them slightly harsh and mostly clean, build on the tension. The drums get going, falling into a fantastic blast beat fest and giving way to a heavy section. Spidery clean guitars in the middle section are warm yet still nostalgic, a delightful and welcomed change. Truly hypnotic. It explodes into a very THE OCEAN- or ISIS-like section, almost Post-Metalish.

"Thorn" is another high-energy, more straightforward track with a catchy, very memorable chorus. The chorus brings Devin Townsend to mind once again, especially his stuff on "Addicted!", a reasonable comparison taking the Industrial edge of MEAN MESSIAH. Meanwhile, "We Shout" features a powerful and bright main riff that gets stuck in your mind. These shorter tracks show the band’s pop sensibilities and songwriting prowess. They know their way around proggy miniepics, but can delivery some catchy three-minute tracks. The inclusion of (what seems to be) live audience footage highlights the arena- or rave-ready feel of this song.

Closer "Za Svetlem" brings back the horror movie piano for a brief intro before going an electronic heavy way. This fun closer plays around with syncopation and ends the record on a truly high point. MEAN MESSIAH embraces their pop side on the middle section of the track, while going the symphonic way with the finale, just as they started.

"Divine Technology" is a masterful album. Although transitions could be a bit smoother, it is just a minor nitpick on my side. The short length of the record works marvellously and there is no filler here, all seven tracks are simply remarkable. I am certainly impressed and waiting for what comes next.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Interment Of Ashes/Hello Again!
2. Divine Technology
3. The Beast
4. Blood Of Sirens/The Call
5. Thorn
6. We Shout
7. Za Svetlem
Lineup:
Dan Friml – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Jiří Willander – Drums
David Gabriel – Bass
Record Label: Slovak Metal Army
     


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