Skulldrain – Hatred Rising10th May 2017
No Dawn – Dark Aura16th May 2017
Label: ViciSolum / Release Date: 29th May 2015
Master Massive is the collective name chosen by five fairly well-established and experienced Swedish musicians, having formerly played in such high-profile bands such as Twilight, Zanity and Beyond Twilight (among others). Despite having played together since 1993, it was not until two years ago that they finally decided to release any official tracks on any known physical format. This first release carries the title The Pendulum, and is both the bands first ever release (full-length or otherwise), as well as their magnum opus, lasting a grand total of a whopping one hour and ten minutes, divided across seventeen tracks (if you count the instrumental introduction, which I always do). On top of that, Master Massive as a whole seem hell-bent upon bringing the past into the present, mixing the simple, repetetive and almost monotonous sound of 70’s Heavy Metal with the epic lyrics from the 80’s, performed via an immersive and equally epic-sounding vocal track that would make most Symphonic Power Metal bands envious. All of this has been banded together in order to tell an almost operatic story about a normal man doing what he can to save a dying world through the humble fact that he is the most human of all (as far as I understand it). A very ambitious and expansive project to be sure – As well as one that I was very interested in examining further. What I found, however, was an album that was heavily fragmented, with both the instrumental and vocal parts each performing admirably and told each their fascinating story – On the expence of the other. While their individual parts of tracks such as ”Time out of Mind” (the first real track upon The Pendulum) are good (the music being quite the blast from the past and the vocals sounding like something that would easily fit into an old Manowar song), the fact that there has not been built any type of bridge between the two hurts The Pendulum immensely. It almost seems like two distinct albums that have been merged together for some unknown reason; And this is the reason why I was left with the feeling that this story would, perhaps, have worked better if either the epic scale of the vocal tracks were toned down, or the 70’s sound was substituted for a more 80’s-like version. It is quite a pity, I must admit: Both parts of the album are both well-written and performed individually; I just do not see how the parts fit together in this particular case. That aside, I cannot deny that Master Massive is a band filled with talented musicians, so here’s to what the future might bring. Sadly I have not been able to find a YouTube link for any of their tracks as I usually prefer doing, so I instead refer to the bands bandcamp, where you supposedly should be able to listen to the record in its entirety.
Recommeded for fans of Manowar, Rhapsody of Fire and Spelblast.