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Mean Messiah - Hell

Mean Messiah
by Gabriel "Svrtr" Zimmerman at 31 May 2017, 7:40 AM

I will be  honest, I am not much of an Industrial Metal listener. I do not mind the genre per se, but I am a novice in the inner workings of it so I apologize for anything I say incorrectly. Regardless, today I get to present the remastered edition of the Czech Republic’s very own MEAN MESSIAH’s premiere album "Hell." So far as I could find, "Hell" is their only full length release, and so perhaps the remastering of it and inclusion of a bonus track could be a sign of a return or a greater commitment to creating music as a band, and when viewed through the lens of the recent EP they released in 2016 (Let Us Pray), this seems very likely. And so without further ado, let us dive right in.

Opening with “Temple of Hell”, the album opens on a particularly strong note. Strong and unique structuring and progression, a rapid fire drum beat that retains consistency, strong use of softer and more melodic aspects, some great overall tunes and riffs, there is little that can be complained about. That is not to say the song is perfect, for while it is a very good song it feels like it is missing some key element. It is as if it is just barely shy of hitting the mark dead on, a sort of incomplete completeness. Sadly this contradictory statement is the most apt due to the unique progression but lack of some capturing element. Next on my list of songs to cover is “Spiritual Resolution”. Opting for a somewhat unusual opening involving a blood curdling screech, beyond this the song displays some prime features of Industrial metal in its structuring and progression, from the riffs heard in the verses and chorus, the faint choir esque noise heard in the background, and the generally brutal and sort of unrefined beat throughout it all. While “Temple of Hell” felt lacking in some inexplicable regard, “Spiritual Resolution” does not.

“The Game” follows in a similar suit in its structuring. However, it seems to have a more apparent use of Industrial sounds than any of the previous song listed, as well as a more noticeable choir sound. Overall, the sound of the song feels somewhat grimmer, or as if there are more religious overtones to it in a sort of perverse ideal of heaven, which is to be expected with  each repetition of the line “Welcome  back to Hell” by Dan Friml. There is a bit of an oddity with the use of sounds one would expect to hear on the stereotypical alien ship, considering that the instrumental that follows, "Saltatio Mortis," features folk tunes and instruments in it. Perhaps there is some unseen connection, or perhaps it is all artistic choice. Regardless, the instrumental is very short but is still well done, but its extreme brevity greatly reduces the effect of it. The album ends with its bonus track not originally available on the original version of Hell, “Remedy”. By comparison to some of the other tracks on this album, this one feels far more experimental, though it being instrumental helps to implement this idea. What really conjures this image is the far more upbeat tone to the song, and most pervasive use of a choir, though pervasive gives the wrong idea as this is not a bad thing. Ultimately, it is a fine song but it is certainly of a different ilk than every thing else on the album.

Ultimately, this was a good recreation, but overall the album was “good”. I cannot say more or less, and while there are some aspects that are very good they are balanced by aspects that are decent at best. Perhaps this does mark a further commitment to creating new music for MEAN MESSIAH. Time will tell, but I certainly would be willing to stake money on it and I am sure they have something up their sleeves if they do make more.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Temple of Hell
2. King Pathetic
3. Spiritual Resolution
4. The Death Song
5. The Last Ride
6. The Game
7. Saltatio Mortis
8. The End
9. Remedy (Bonus Track)
Dan “D.C.D” Friml - Vocals, All Instruments
Honza Šebek - Drums
Veronika Smetanová - Bass
Record Label: Via Nocturna


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