Thursday, March 10, 2011

Messiya - Erzsebet EP (2009)

Messiya ("Messiah", as it sounds in English) is a young Russian duo performing some of the most primitive black/death metal I've heard of late, not necessarily for a lack of compositional ability, but in the execution, which is entirely lo fidelity and roughly of the demo level. The guitars sound fairly thin here, the vocals too loud, the drums precise but mechanical, and the bass just present enough that you can hear it romping against the guitars. Many would undoubtedly write this off as mere bedroom level material, but I'd point that there is certainly some potential at work here, delivered incessantly through the against odds brutality and the variation in the pacing of these four tracks.

The EP begins with "Obrechennost", which surprises with some clean, deep male chants and driving chords that sound like a misanthropic variation on the old Frère Jacques melody. This is the flightiest piece here, and my least favorite, but it's at curious. "M-D" has a more straight razor appeal of Bathory and Hellhammer quenched riffing with some blasts and hyper double bass lines, and a far more evil appeal that I rather enjoyed for all of the 2+ minutes. There's a very interesting bridge in which a catchy melody develops and then the black rasps of Anthony are joined by a growling tone. "Erzsebet" itself is slower track with raw Hellhammer appeal in the sparsity of its chords, and this is adorned with distant screaming before the pace picks up to a level of punk vitriol. "Whore" has the catchiest riff, an enthusiastic shuffle of perversity which is as fun as it is grim, and I enjoyed how the track escalated to a thrashing break, and Messiya have even tossed a little lead in at the breakdown.

Erzsebet definitely has a few surprises in store. From the first track, I was not expecting much, but besides the simplicity on display and the obviously lesser production quality, these guys seem as if they can write effective songs. There's not a lot to go on here, just about 10 minutes of original material, but almost every flaw can be whittled down to the sound itself. The guitars could use a much more powerful tone to match up with the bloodied vocals, and perhaps even let those melodies leap out more. The bass could use some improvement in the composition, it tends to just follow along under the guitar and never make a mark for itself. The drums stand out perhaps a bit much for my tastes, but otherwise I didn't mind the last three tracks on the EP. The members seem to have an interest in both history and sin, and this steers their lyrical focus, and I actually kind of enjoy the primitive logo. I should point out that this was a very limited run, so most will have to check out the band's music online. Really, the recording budget is about the only barrier they've got to a wider appeal.

Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10]

No comments: