Review: “The Door” by Messora

Originally starting out as a solo project in 2016, Messora evolved into a genre shifting Progressive Death Metal quartet with vocalist and guitarist Zach Dean joined by guitarist James Cabral, drummer Joey Lariviere and bassist Ben Bertand in their native Montréal Québec Canada. A montage of Death Metal, Thrash, Progressive and even Doom are mixed into the melting pot of the bands sound as they take influences from David Bowie, Lamb Of God and Opeth

…reversing 10 seconds of heavier material as in introduction feels like you’re being pulled from drowning by a hidden hand before a melodic bridge into “The Door” proper leaves us on the sand with a bouncy Progressive Death Metal cut with obvious comparisons to Obscura. Some bold classic 80s Metal lead parts with an element of showmanship give the the song the concept of passages and nonlinear dynamics while Dean’s dark growlings add a weight to the cut. Lariviere deserves a mention here because he’s simply metronomic with precision and savage kit work that demonstrates he has the skills with the drum stick that the finest butcher has with a knife. The Melodic break of “Tethered” is a 94 second burst of Progressive clean guitar that pallette cleanses for the near 10 minute epic “The Veil”. A more technical Death Metal track with flowing guitar work that joins it all neatly together, it could be broken up into shorter songs but… where’s the fun in that? The glory of the song is its well worked tempo shifts and sonic changes that move them seamlessly between styles. A mid song clean vocal passage is the least expected thing but it works really well before the band thunder back into their more traditional sound. The thing about the length of the song is key. It doesn’t get boring or repetitive because there is so much going on that you never get the opportunity to take it all in, even on multiple listens. There are new things to appreciate every time and that’s the mark of quality. “The Falling Star” at nearly 9 minutes is a similarly enthralling journey though Dean’s mind and the relentless stream of quality guitar work knows no limit. Progressive without any needless noodling or over indulgence is the way that Messora deliver. They have hints at “Miss Machine” era Dillinger Escape Plan riffs in the mix as the tune becomes the Metal equivalent of classical music, combining polyrhythmic punches with necksnappingly headbangable lead work that ocillates in finger blistering fashion.

“The Pond” offers a feedback soaked introduction to bring in some Gojria inspired darkness with a slower plodding groove that builds slowly back to the earlier ground. Using a harsh spoken word to paint mental pictures of a blackened World, there are some stunningly beautiful lead guitar works that bring the song to an atmospheric close. The dark swirling moods of  “Untethered” with its aching clean vocals and haunting melodies is a Pink Floyd moment and left turn that you might not have expected, before the change to Mexican acoustics combined with a spoken word that suggests being trapped in a dream like state turns things full circle. Madder than a box of frogs but it a good way. Devin Townsend is probably taking notes. “The Tide” breaks back into Messora’s primary colour scheme with with a nine minute epic Progressive Death Metal track of gargantuan proportions. It body slams between pummelling kit work, intertwined guitars and a play off between each member of the band. A spoken word bridge cuts a sinister tone between verses as the darkness surrounds. Messora constantly find new directions, evolving their music from one side to the other and back. The fact they can do it flawlessly is a joy [8/10]

Track listing

  1. The Door
  2. Tethered (Instrumental)
  3. The Veil
  4. The Falling Star
  5. The Pond
  6. Unteathered
  7. The Tide

“The Door” by Messora is out on 4th October

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