Oh man, that Techno intro scared me, but I’ll let it pass for the moment, as things do improve. For the first song, the Thrashy riffs and raspy vocals are backed up by good basslines, and interesting drums. But the way in which the vocals are phrased, how they fit with the music, is a bit too like the Rap influenced NWOHSCPM [somewhat later termed “Nu-Metal” -Editor] bands, and then the female sung “pretty” choruses start up, ala Fear Factory. I mean this has some cool stuff going on, but also some trendy sugarcoated shit. But I was prepared to excuse that to some degree if things got better. However, the opening seconds of the second song proved that these guys have their heads up their asses. When the chick singer Cock Rock’s her way through the lines “Hey, hey, come on / Here we come, so come on,” and then the raspy male vocals echo the same inane words, I knew it was over for The Mass. But then the next song, “It Was Me,” proves me wrong, with an upbeat take on Cemetary’s Godless Beauty Death Rock formula, sung most (and best) with the now improved female vocals. Okay, when the male and female vocals are overlapped in this song, it once again proves that only Paradise Lost can (or at least, could) properly do that sort of thing, but it’s not horrible. This should have been the first track, as it is the best one, but it got stuck right in the middle. Strangely enough, things stay nearly this good for the remaining two cuts, with the band sticking mostly to the Doomier, Death Rock sounds established on “It Was Me.” Although the last song, “The Name of My Game,” is something of a synthesis of their different styles, and so not nearly as good. All this begs the questions of what the fuck are the first two tracks even doing on this at all, and in what order were these songs written? Hopefully they are going toward this much better style, and not toward the crap that comprises the first two cuts. I’m torn on this rating, but despite the low score, I did really like two of the five songs, with one more being passable, and I’m not planning on keeping this one in my car for the sole purpose of throwing at some asshole who cuts me off.
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