Messa
Close


4.5
superb

Review

by PsychicChris USER (566 Reviews)
March 11th, 2022 | 61 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Making due on their potential and then some

Messa has established themselves as one of the more unique bands in the occult doom scene to the point that such a tag almost feels like a disservice. Their dedication to a consistently dark, cavernous atmosphere goes beyond the boundaries of groups like SubRosa and Witch Mountain while incorporating additional influences from ambient, blues, post rock, black metal, and folk. Their third full-length feels like a consolidation of their eclectic sound that also pushes it to an even broader scope.

While Close still isn’t necessarily an accessible listen in the traditional sense, the presentation feels a bit more straightforward than before. Their drone tendencies are more coherently utilized, having phased out the tracks dedicated to long-form ambiance in favor of putting it toward expanding the instrumental buildups and fleshing out the ominous mood. From there, the songs still bounce all over the place stylistically to the point that they often stand in direct opposition to each other, but they also feel more purposefully structured and self-contained.

“Suspended” does a splendid job of establishing the tone, delivering monolithic riffs and spooky vocals with a slow crawl that gets spruced up by jazzy guitar and sprinkles of keyboard. Tracks like “Orphalese” and “0 = 2” take that template even further, adding in exotic instrumentation and even more excruciating builds that amount to especially haunting sequences. On the flip side, “Dark Horse” and “Rubedo” put in more up-tempo executions while maintaining smoothly flowing dynamics and “Leffotrak” goes full on black metal, albeit for forty-five seconds.

And as expected, the musicianship maintains a high standard throughout. The guitar tone is incredibly thick, suited as well to doom riffs as to tremolo runs and spacy textures that are further supported by the flexible rhythms. The vocals are admittedly one note but ultimately serve as a consistent overseer to the madness at hand. I do find myself wishing there was more saxophone but the liberal use of different synths, mandolin, and other instruments more than makes up for it.

Overall, Messa makes due on their potential and then some with Close. The band had my interest from the get-go with their blend of unique instrumentation and committed atmosphere, but this album sees their identity fully realized thanks to its careful structuring. The worst I can really say is that a song or two may be slightly redundant toward the end, but they still maintain quality throughout. If you’re unfamiliar to the band and seek a refreshing alternative to all the witchy metal out there, consider giving this a listen.



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user ratings (156)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2022


5973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really nice review! Jamming this now and it slaps pretty hard.

Sabrutin
March 11th 2022


9788 Comments


The single I'd heard (the first?) felt like them switching the dark jazz aesthetic in favor of a world-y sound. Can't wait to jam this. Review looks promising

Azog
March 11th 2022


1070 Comments


Seems to be out of stock everywhere I look. Guess I'll have to be patient.

Meanwhile: https://messaproject.bandcamp.com/

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2022


32053 Comments


Album is fantastic, they've come a long way, the jazzy vibes are still there plus much more.

Gyromania
March 12th 2022


37188 Comments


this is damn good. especially love the opener.

arf
March 13th 2022


494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Azog, I'm hoping I might be able to get my hands on a physical copy at the concert...

someone
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2022


6716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

goddamn i love that cover

Azog
March 15th 2022


1070 Comments


@arf: Amazon will have it available by the end of this week, so I'm good. Thanks.

Calc
March 16th 2022


17366 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is grand. glad i stumbled on it

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2022


32053 Comments


People missing on this so badly.

Orphalese is so goooood.

arf
March 16th 2022


494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's got whole 23 ratings so far. I've seen much worse performances...

Azog
March 16th 2022


1070 Comments


Messa just isn't your typical Sputnik darling.

Will get this on cd come wednesday.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2022


32053 Comments


Well, now it's trending lol

Jebull
March 18th 2022


1439 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is killer. Loved their last album! This one was worth the wait, seems like.

kevbogz
March 20th 2022


6126 Comments


man, the experimental/non doomy bits are so lovely and don't feel forced/added on for filler/flair, but the vocals...... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

maybe i just hate women man idk

Azog
March 21st 2022


1070 Comments


Best female vox in metal. Hands down.

Pikazilla
March 22nd 2022


30042 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Will probably five this soon. So freaking good.

arf
March 22nd 2022


494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"maybe i just hate women man idk"

this song goes very hard

love from kazakhstan

Sabrutin
March 23rd 2022


9788 Comments


Haven't heard this yet but if her vocals are anything like on the chorus of Leah than they're amazeballs

Aluktodolo
March 23rd 2022


559 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I’m already there, Pika. Excellent album, flows effortlessly.



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