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Messa - Belfry

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 August 2016, 7:43 AM

MESSA is a Doom/Ambient/Drone Metal band based out of Italy. Formed in 2014, this is the band’s debut album on Aural Music Records, and contains eight tracks. “Alba” is the opening track. Heavy feedback and haunting moans sound like the march to a death chamber. It segues into the track “Babalon,” which has a slow grind, fuzzy distorted guitar and bass, and vocals that toggle between frail, ethereal words and singing with emotional purpose. “Hour of the Wolf” goes a different direction. It’s bluesy at first, then leads to a riff that has energy and a hastened pace. “Blood” is a ten-minute track. Ambient and mysterious at first, with what sounds like steel guitar notes, it rolls into a muddy riff around the two-minute mark. Though there is some overall order, at times it could be a bit of a free jam. The clarinet playing sure is an interesting twist, and it’s done with clear skill.

“New Horns” has a strumming riff and a Doomy sound that, without clean vocals, could be within the realm of Pagan/Black Metal. The vocal harmonies done at just the right time are the highlight for me. The extended guitar solo adds a lot of soul as well. “Outermost” follows another completely ambient track “Bell Tower.” The mood is somber from a riff that barely gets out of the gate. “Confess” closes the album. It’s an acoustical guitar and voice piece that shows the band stretching out a bit from the heaviness of the Doom/Ambient sound. Overall I think the album has promise, especially vocally and considering some of the extra instrumentation like clarinet and acoustic guitar, but I found myself longing for more of that, to break up the sometimes monotonous passages.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Alba
2. Babalon
3. Faro
4. Hour of the Wolf
5. Blood
6. Tomba
7. New Horns
8. Bell Tower
9. Outermost
10. Confess
Mistyr – Drums
Alberto – Guitars (Lead)
Mark Sade – Guitars, Bass
Sara – Vocals
Record Label: Aural Music


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