Priestess
Hello Master


3.0
good

Review

by Irving STAFF
August 26th, 2011 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If at first you don't succeed it's normal; but the second time you're expected to perform.

Given that the album sleeve sports nothing less than a (bizarrely proportioned) hand rising ominously from a wasteland of craggy rocks, a sea of rolling dust, and a nasty swirl of apocalyptic clouds, it may come as a bit of a surprise that Priestess’ debut album Hello Master actually features the following things as well: an anthem about the complications of workplace relationships, a soliloquy from band singer Mikey Heppner on how hard it is to “go out there and shine every night”, multiple guitar riffs that are more stoner rock than heavy metal, a pair of choruses on how important it is to tell your girl that you love her, and a closing song whose lyrics suspiciously sound more like the denouement of a vampire-themed Western than anything else. Bearing in mind that album sleeves often prompt investigative listens, this is essentially false advertising at its very worst.

But to be frank the band at the heart of it all probably couldn’t care less. As front man Heppner explained during an interview just after the album’s release, “We consider ourselves mainly a live band and that’s sort of where our life is, just playing. "[Hello Master is] just a recorded version of us playing,” he adds. The specter of the band’s disdain for the recording process in favour of live shows certainly looms large over parts of the album – the (horrible) photo in the album sleeve’s center spread suggests a group ill at ease with their identity and painfully out of sync with the rugged coolness of their contemporaries. In fact, if not for the beer cans clutched in their hands and the same long down-the-back hairstyle adorning everyone's head, the band would probably more closely resemble hippies than head bangers.

Yet, despite every inch of this record seeming almost cursory in nature, the collection of songs within still manages to hold up surprisingly well. Opening track “I Am the Night, Colour Me Black” features thundering drums running up against a snarling introductory riff, before Heppner begins: “I know where you were born/I know it’s you/I’ll wait for weeks to find out/That nothing’s true”, tossing off the kind of opening phrase that would leave most bands sounding unimaginative and hopelessly banal. But fortunately for Priestess, it’s hard to disagree with the Tony Iommi-esque guitar bellowing away in the background. “Lay Down”, with its soaring chorus and fetching steel riff finds Priestess comfortably galloping along, seemingly at ease in the unfamiliar surroundings of the recording studio.

Elsewhere, "Two Kids” features a thorny, unrelenting tempo and a premise that sounds like it was inspired directly by little Shrimpie’s death in the James Patterson novel “Along Came a Spider”. However, “Talk To Her” eschews that particular line of intrigue entirely, choosing instead to dish out a teenage paean about the universal situations of uncontrollable angst, girlfriends, and the churlish optimism of youth. Now, while Hello Master has definitely been good fun up to this point, those hoping for Priestess to up the ante in the album’s second half will be sorely disappointed. Simple and blunt is the name of the game here, and by the time the album’s twenty minute mark comes around, it is only too evident that Priestess’ brand of Luddite rock-and-roll has started to blend together a little too well. Numbers like “The Shakes”, “No Real Pain”, and “Performance” leave much to be desired both lyrically and musically. Worse, they strongly give off the impression that Priestess is content with simply going through their paces whilst mercilessly aping bands like Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Budgie. This results in a closing twenty minutes that is merely tolerable at best, and extremely disposable at worst.

But having purged themselves of all the second-rate material lingering in their coffers, Priestess somehow manage to end Hello Master with “Blood”, which is easily the most intriguing cut on the entire record. Furious, prowling, and loaded with sexual tension all at once, the track hints strongly at the vast reservoirs of potential that Priestess would be able to tap if only they had the sense to understand that having to participate in studio recordings is very much part of being a real band. As it stands, all we can do is watch and pray that one day the band will have enough heart to survive themselves.



Recent reviews by this author
Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 3Yuna Chapters
The Observatory August is the CruellestThe Humble Act Accordingly
Deep Sea Diver SecretsNarc Twain Narc Twain
user ratings (105)
Chart.
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
August 26th 2011


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

In my Lion King review, BlackenedOne suggested that I review more metal; so here's my attempt at proving I can rock as hard as the best of you.



Here's a link to "Blood", which I feel is quite awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5YmehXj-GQ

acad
August 26th 2011


151 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

4/5

Irving
Staff Reviewer
August 26th 2011


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Review, enclosed song, or album? ;)

BlackenedOne
August 26th 2011


14 Comments


Fuck yeah Irving next thing you know you'll be jamming awesome stuff like Camel or Rush.

m/

Irving
Staff Reviewer
August 26th 2011


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fuck yeah Irving next thing you know you'll be jamming awesome stuff like Camel or Rush.



m/ m/ m/ m/!!!!



meh



Not a fan of the album, sonic?

Tyrael
August 26th 2011


21113 Comments


Great review, it's nice to see you expanding your musical horizons ^^

pos

Irving
Staff Reviewer
August 26th 2011


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, it's nice to see you expanding your musical horizons ^^



One does try! But I still have a long way to go just yet - I haven't managed to get around to checking all your folk metal recs yet dude LOL.



#toomuchmusicintheworld

nullpoint
August 26th 2011


29 Comments


Blackened didn't think you were a rocker?

Bullll

Irving
Staff Reviewer
August 26th 2011


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Blackened didn't think you were a rocker?



Bullll




Hahahah what makes you say that null? XD

Jom
Staff Reviewer
August 26th 2011


3120 Comments


Saw these guys when they played with Mastodon and Converge. They weren't terrible, just unmemorable. Only thing I remember from the gig is that the frontman/guitarist had a clear guitar, was pretty nice, and everybody going, "WAAAAAAAAIT, this song is in one of the Guitar Hero gamesssss!"

bloc
August 26th 2011


53465 Comments


That GH song was actually really good

Digging: Sacrifice - Soldiers Of Misfortune

tiesthatbind
August 27th 2011


7441 Comments


I remember that song from GH3. It was alright.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2011


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Saw these guys when they played with Mastodon and Converge. They weren't terrible, just unmemorable.



Sounds like the album I reviewed =)



and everybody going, "WAAAAAAAAIT, this song is in one of the Guitar Hero gamesssss!"



Eh I didn't know that they had a song on GH LOL. I hope they at least didn't try and sell it like Dream Theater did on their live shows: "Okay this next song you folks should know...it's on Guitar Hero 3..."

Jom
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2011


3120 Comments


It was "Lay Down," which is arguably the best song on this record. One of the easiest note charts in GH3, though:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBRHea1GfvE

Ctippell
August 27th 2011


112 Comments


Haven't heard this album in a while and most of it I can't remember but the ones I do were mostly brilliant. My favourite was actually Talk To Her which you weren't impressed with lol.

bloc
December 4th 2011


53465 Comments


Pretty riffy

MO
December 4th 2011


22457 Comments


"One of the easiest note charts in GH3, though:"

that game killed that song for me

Snooze00
January 8th 2013


246 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think this is a good album for the style. But I think its a decade to late. Ill be suprised if they are still around today cranking out songs for a new album.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2013


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I actually have no idea where they're at these days, Snooze00.



So yeah. Your guess is as good as mine =S

gumballthechewy
March 14th 2013


19 Comments


The only part I disagree with in the review is the part about the guitar in "I Am The Night" sounding Tony Iommi-esque.

Other than that great review!



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy