Messiah - Fracmont review


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Band: Messiah
Album: Fracmont
Release date: September 2020

01. Sacrosanctus Primitivus
02. Fracmont
03. Mort Al Dente
04. Urbi Et Orbi
05. Singularity
06. Children Of Faith
07. Dein Wille Geschehe
08. Miracle Far Beyond Disaster
09. My Flesh - Your Soul
10. Throne Of Diabolic Heretics

I've heard worse comeback albums. But I've heard better too.

Messiah are one of those bands whose contributions to early extreme metal are far too often overlooked, so even just for the sake of this album shedding some more light on their original albums, I'm glad this exists. Though I'm not entirely sure if their name comes from the Hellhammer song of the same name, both bands hailed from Switzerland. Whether the rawer and more rotten 80s albums, or the cleaner, more technical and "eclectic" ones that followed in the 90s, Messiah were among the first bands to ride the wave between thrash and death. Though the metal mythos is filled with overlooked bands, I still feel that they deserved just a little bit better. So now, after reuniting in 2017, with the exact same lineup that recorded Choir Of Horrors and Rotten Perish nonetheless, we have our first Messiah album in more than 25 years.

And putting out a reunion album in the current climate is a pretty unfortunate move, considering that for most "legacy" bands there's a lot more interest in seeing them perform old songs live with the occasional new tune as opposed to hearing a new record. Sure, nobody minds a new record, I certainly don't, but I sure would be more excited if Messiah got announced at a festival I was going to rather than for a new album. And with pretty much nobody touring for the foreseeable future, the band has to rely on the new album solely. And in their benefit, Fracmont is pretty much in line with their 90s material. Sure, you can tell that this is a band that's a few decades older, has a more contemporary producer, and has some idea as to fans would want from their material. But it also has enough traces of what made original Messiah material great in the first place.

I have to admit that this mid-paced in-between-thrash-and-death isn't as exciting as either of those two sounds would've been on their own. Andy Kaina's rotten vocals particularly definitely ask for some more dissonant and bludgeoning instrumentation, while the fairly intricate and progressive thrash instrumentation asks for vocals that aren't so one-dimensional. On their own, each of these two elements are pretty top notch, but coming along with the modern production that Messiah has now, it breathes new life in their sound, and unfortunately that new life takes them out from the raw 80s and early 90s when they were pioneers and the rawness added to the appeal. They have a whole deal of bands they influenced directly or indirectly to compete with now. But as much as this drags the album back and makes it lose some of its impact, I can't deny that regardless of the standard I'm holding them against, calling the songwriting here just worthwhile is an underestimation of just how fleshed out and dynamic the riffs here are. There are times when the elements fall into place, and when they do, Fracmont hits pretty hard and can definitely stand its own in the current metal climate. Too bad that those moments are too far in-between, but if all their songs were like "Throne Of Diabolic Heretics", the world would be a better place.

And those dramatic "Ave Maria" samples are the cherry on top.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 8


Written on 06.09.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.

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