Review Summary: If Cursed had never broken up...
It seems that ever since the untimely death of Canadian hardcore band Cursed, there have been a plethora of new up and coming bands springing up from out of the woodwork to claim the spot left by the legendary act. This has spawned an almost completely different offshoot of hardcore, mixing sludge and crust to create a new type of blackened hardcore that has been known to little for many years and is now recently coming into the limelight. This probably will only serve to fuel to the fires of this new subgenre even more, and many bands will come and go without any real contribution to it. But while it may be a fact that the chances of Cursed coming back are about as good as the chances of their stolen trailer returned, we can take pleasure in the fact that there are those few bands that successfully embody the spirit and sonic sound of them. While there are definitely bands that are a joy to listen to for nostalgic purposes, I can truthfully say that Masakari, in their debut album The Prophet Feeds, have crafted an album that nigh perfectly carries the spirit of Cursed unlike any other band I have listened to this whole year.
If you never liked Cursed to being with then you will not like Masakari. Plain and simple. Masakari starts off Prophets with a huge bang on ‘XI Rapid Dominance
’ and it becomes perfectly apparent just how much these guys are sonically similar to Cursed. At this point I’m well aware of the fact that I am referencing Cursed more than I professionally should, but this is made only to accentuate the fact and to encourage the reader to listen to Prophets. Everything from the crusty, raw sound of the guitars, the crystal clear production of the drumming and the vocalist, who carries a voice so similar to Chris Colohan that the two are almost indistinguishable. ‘Oh say it ain’t so…’ is the thought that gets carried around throughout Prophets; these guys have so much potential that it practically radiates off every song, it’s almost tangible. ‘X Pain Conceived As A Too
l’ is another Cursed inspired track from ‘I’ days, featuring an incredibly amount of dissonance, blast beat to d-beat style drumming and frentic guitar and vocal work throughout. ‘XIII Temptation Reigns
’ carries a sound that is both sonically similar to ‘II’ and even reminiscent to the crust punk days of Discharge. Every song on Prophets is either a throwback to better days or a personal homage to the giants before them and they pull it off in the best way possible.
Masakari also carry a heavily socio-political message along with their music that tends to separate them a bit from their forefathers. While Cursed did carry an amount of political ammo, most of their material was either the failures of humanity or personal doubt. On Prophets, Masakari take direct aim at structures such as government and organized religion and basically tear it apart, piece by piece. Obviously, from the song titles, it is fair to assume that every song on Prophets deals with subjects ranging from the church to mind controlling corporations. Prophets could almost be considered a concept album, for its use of samples throughout each song foretelling the end of the album which culminates in the final ‘Untitled
’ track that is both the longest track (at over six minutes) and featuring no vocals, just instruments over a sampled voiceover.
Now I’ve talked about how Masakari are basically the resurrected version of Cursed and Discharge. While this is definitely a positive fact, it also serves as a hindrance to the band as a whole. The sonic similarities are so apparent that it fails to give Masakari an image of their own, as for now they are only seem as a clone of Cursed. Prophets doesn’t do much in the sound department to break away from the stereotypes of bands before them. While this is only their debut record, Masakari should be soundly warned that while their attack on the hardcore genre is greatly appreciated for carrying the soul of Cursed to the next generation, they should not become complacent with it. A minor fault for now that, if left unchecked on future releases, can spiral into a major problem that could lead to redundancy and repetition that bands with even more potential than Masakari have squandered.
Again, if you were never a fan of Cursed or are burnt out by them then Prophets is not the album for you. The similarities are too much to look past in some cases, but when a band as legendary as Cursed decide to call in quits out of nowhere, it is comforting to know that Masakari are willing to carry their legacy even further. An absolute must get, Prophets is a stellar album embodying the spirit of greatness that can lead to much more success down the road.