I live in Germany, a country with many interesting things to see. Most people visit the castles or Berlin, but one of my favorite sights to visit is the Blautopf. It’s a little pond in which you can bathe in if you want. The peculiar thing about it is that its water is completely blue. Yes, water is normally blue, but the water in the pond is an aquamarine blue as if someone dropped a can of paint in there. The reason I tell you about this astounding wonder of nature is because today’s record seems to have an affinity for water as well. Feast For Water is the new record by Italian scarlet doom effort Messa and it will be out on the 6th of April.
The first thing I want to explain is what defines scarlet doom because Messa seems to be the only band right now using the term. The band flourishes between different styles and influences quickly and is keen to let every song appear to have a context within the album but still stand out on its own; a closed ecosystem, if you want. From John Coltrane to King Crimson, this doom outfit has many influences that move them and they manage to combine these into a jazzy operatic doom symphony.
The first track I want to discuss is called “Leah”, and is the third track on the record. With soaring feedback and a very catchy riff that uses natural harmonics, the song begins rather straightforward. soon after, the gloomy atmosphere ebbs into a mellow jazzy one with some volume swells here and there and very moody chords over the incredible vocal performance that can only be described as silky. A tremolo laden, almost country rock sounding riffs disturbs the piece, and the listener is very clearly reminded that this is a rock record. The riff comes back and the vocals are raunchier than ever, yet still retain an incredible register. In terms of groove the beat is held down steadily by the drums and bass that are the spine of the record. A lot of experimentation wouldn’t be possible otherwise. A jazzy break that goes all out again later, and we have a solo that conjures vivid images of the wild west for me. A groovy track that every metal fan can bop his or her head to.
A track that goes a very different route than “Leah” is “Tulsi”. A steady groove of the instruments heads straight into one direction while complex leads, rhythms, and vocals dance over it in a twisted waltz. Jazz fusion meets dark doom grooves. The vocals come out very nicely in this track, as there is a lot of experimentation going on. At the end of “Tulsi” awaits a very open and joyful saxophone solo, which made my heart jump.
What I respect about Messa is their sense of experimentation while not straying to far from what they want to achieve. It’s not pretentious, and it doesn’t try to be pseudo-intellectual. It’s experimental for the sense of wonder and discovery that bounds so many musicians to pursue this style of music. For accomplishing this I can only say ‘bravo’.
Score: 9.5 /10
Notable Tracks: “Leah”; “Tulsi”; “The Seer”
FFO: Combat Astronomy, Subrosa