Album: The Door
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Release Date: October 4th, 2019
I am starting to sound like a broken record when I talk about all the bands who have released great debut records this year. Well, add another to the list, because Messora is here with their debut, The Door. Messora have created a melting pot of a debut record with how many styles they try to fit into The Door. Having not heard of this band prior to this, I was pleasantly surprised and satisfied with what I heard, especially considering it started as a solo project and bloomed into something much more, and I am beyond excited to see what they do on future records because they’re only going to get better.
If I were to compare Messora to other bands to give you a sense on what to expect, I’d say that they sound the most like Black Crown Initiate. You can even compare them to other bands like Opeth, Gojira, and Lamb of God for example. Messora is one of those bands that doesn’t want to be put into a specific genre and as a result, they do a little bit of everything from progressive to death to doom to black to melodic metal as well as some acoustic as well. It may not sound like the most well thought out idea on paper, but it surprisingly works quite well despite being a big mash up of a lot of different styles. I will say that I would rather hear a band be proficient in creating their own sound rather than trying to mix many different styles into one brief record. Despite my preference there, the record is still quite good for what it is!
The opening title track is the perfect track to sum up most of the record, despite the intro to this specific track starting off in the middle of a heavily distorted riff which then immediately cuts off to some soft, melodic guitar. It is a little unpleasant to have that right away with no context, especially when the song easily could’ve gone without that it given how short it is. Throughout this track, and most of the record to be honest, you will find great catchy riffs that will be sure to get stuck in your head for days. One thing that did start to sink in after repeated listens is that most of the riffs follow a specific structure (ABABC) in which two parts will go back and forth several times and then the riff maintains the same note shape and moves up the fretboard. After noticing that while still familiarizing myself with the record, the rest of the songs became quite predictable given the repetitive riff structures. The breakdown on the opening track, The Door did completely catch me off guard with that slight drop and the great bass tone; I made the stankiest of stank faces at that moment.
Tethered is a brief beautiful and melodic interlude to slowly ease you into the ten-minute epic that is The Veil. This is one of the strongest tracks on the record that doesn’t have the same riffs and riff structure oversaturating the song as in the title track but is much groovier and more melodic. The leads are much more prominent on this track and are quite exceptional, especially the guitar solo which at times, sounds like a guitar duet somewhat reminiscent of Voice of the Soul by Death. This track utilizes a good balance of harsh and clean vocals in both the heavy and the soft melodic sections, which is what really reminded me of Black Crown Initiate and Opeth. The Falling Star is much more teetering the line between tech and prog death, providing for a track nearly damn impossible to not bob your head to. The rest of the tracks on the record follow a similar structure to The Veil and The Falling Star in which they are all longer songs that take you to riff city with plenty of guitar solos thrown in the mix.
Like its counterpart, Untethered is the second brief interlude found on the record. These interludes are a much-needed change of pace from the relentless onslaught of blast beats and riffs that consume on the rest of the tracks of the record. The Door closes with the Gojira-esque monster of a track, The Tide. The mixing on this record is very clean on this record, easily allowing for the instrumentalists to shine and not overwhelm one another, especially the bass. The bass is very prominent and audible on this record, especially in the breakdown of the title track, and that is almost never a bad thing. The instrumentation itself is incredibly tight and makes you really think about how many young stellar musicians there are currently creating music. The technicality and skill is obviously present, but these tracks seem to be all over the place as the band is just riffing and shredding just for the sake of doing so. Those brief interludes certainly made this record much more pleasant to listen to, that is for sure.
The Door is one record you certainly check out if you want nothing but solid tracks all the way through. This record will certainly put Messora on the metal map. Although the tracks all do follow a similar structure and it gets somewhat repetitive in nature, the ideas and the technicality are certainly there. I’d imagine further records from them to be more cohesive and less all over the place in terms of instrumentation. I would much rather hear the band refine their sound to a specific style and do it exceptionally well, be it prog death for example, than try to fit everything into one varied record and spread themselves thin at times. Messora are opening the door to their musical careers and they better not close it any time soon, because I want to hear what this band can really do.
- The Door
- The Veil
- The Falling Star
- The Pond
- The Tide
Total Playing Time: 44:18