Review Summary: "Masochist" is a poorly written album that still contains enjoyable parts and songs with a brutal feeling and a low but existent replay value. You'll be skipping songs and fast forwarding them a lot on this CD.2 of 3 thought this review was well written
Elysia has been known for their mindless brutal lyrics accompanied with heavy breakdowns and violent chants. The almost dual-vocal-sounding growls and harsh gutterals are performed by Zak Vargus in their 04 demo that contained songs like Triumph, Incinerate, and Filthy. Fortunately for Elysia, Zak Vargus is still manning the mic for Elysia in Masochist.
With the album being titled "Masochist", you would probably expect it to be another grindcore album describing violent, disgusting, and sexual encounters that talk about ripping off a girl's vagina and burning it in a fire started by her own hair. Well surprisingly, "Masochist" took quite the opposite approach by speaking about politics and religion. Though there are still a few violent lines found throughout the CD like "Bitches get stitches, she's ***ed as she twitches", the lines are still describing a more "mature" topic rather than an exgirlfriend or a backstabbing friend.
Well, most of the lyrics anyways. In "Masochist", Elysia remade 3 original songs: "Incinerate", "Triumph", and "Filthy". So if you enjoyed their old songs' lyrics, and prefer their newer sound, you won't be let down.
Now, about their newer sound. First off I noticed that all of the songs sound like they were run through a machine about ten times. Some people might like this, so it's really just your opinion but it takes away from their old sound. I have to admit the song-writing in a musical aspect is poorly done. You can hardly tell the songs apart, other than the 3 old songs.
Listening to most of these new songs reminds me of waiting in line for a roller coaster. You have to wait forever in bland boringness to finally reach the end of the song to experience the only juicy part of the song, which is usually a breakdown of sorts. For this reason I can't just pop the CD into a player and listen to it. I have to bring up my itunes and skip to the end of the song to hear the good part and skip the repetitive, untalented and boring filler of the rest of the song.
Throughout all of the songs, the drumming is mediocre or downright bad. I even heard a few spots where the drummer is clearly off-timing, and when he isn't, he's usually playing chuggy, slow and crappy. The guitars are nothing to gawk over, either. Generally slow, repetitive, and played on the 6th string of guitar at all times. The below-average guitars highlight the bass a little bit though, which isn't truly amazing, but good.
What will ultimately make or break your opinion on this album is if you like the way Zak growls and screams. His new gutterals are particularly clean on this album, and in my opinion they sounds particularly "full" and don't lack anything except one thing: variety. Zak pretty much exhales with two different pitches. The low and the highs with no in betweens. Though this may seem like a really bad thing, the difference between the two pitches make him seem like he is two different people which creates interesting effects, and when his two pitches are recorded over each other on some songs, he sounds particularly "br00tal".
I honestly find myself listening to their older songs a lot more than their new just because their old songs are so much better written and keep you interested with the lack of repetivity and breakdowns that get stuck in your head. And though their new lyrics are more mature and may be better to think about, violent lyrics and chants get stuck in your head so much better.
Though this album is quite disappointing, there are some new songs that have integrity and catchiness that can get stuck in your head, like Swine. And Theocracy is a unique song that contains some erratic gutterals. But other than that, you'll be waiting for the breakdown at the end.