martedì 25 ottobre 2016

Solar Mass - "Pseudomorphosis" (Iron Bonehead Productions, 2016)

Band: Solar Mass
Title: Pseudomorphosis
Genre: Black/Death/Thrash metal
Time: 18 min
Year: 2016
Rating: 73/100

Behind the curious moniker of Solar Mass (in astronomy, the solar mass is a unit of measurement used to indicate the mass of the stars and various bigger space objects like the galaxies) there is a trio coming from New Zealand, a small land nowadays famous for 3 of some more devastating war-machines of the extreme metal: Witchrist, Heresiarch and Diocletian. Coincidentally, B.S. plays both in Diocletian and Solar Mass. Besides, this young band formed in 2015 in Auckland had the good fortune to be supported by Rok of the seminal Aussie band Sadistik Exekution, so just he made the Voivod-ish cover artwork of the very first demo of Solar Mass, “Pseudomorphosis”. And so, the German label Iron Bonehead Productions is distributing recently this demo in a tape printed in 500 copies.

“Pseudomorphosis” is a 5-song demo that is enough strange. This for the title yet, since the pseudomorphosis is a concept of the mineralogy to definite a mineral that, externally, has a form typical of another mineral. But the demo is strange also musically speaking, not for particular skills but, primarily, for its structure.
I mean: the first (“Arc Furnace”) and the last track (“Heat Death”) are, respectively, the intro and the outro of the demo. But they shows the hyper-violent side of Solar Mass since they are two instrumentals of the more chaotic and hysterical bestial black/death metal in the typical Oceanic style, except for the atmospheric final moments completed of synths.

In the middle between the instrumentals, there are 3 songs and each of them is different. For me, the better song is the second one, “Emergence”, almost 7 minutes that, instead resuming the ultra-violence of the intro, resolves mostly in a doom metal with good dynamics and with a death metal riffing vaguely closed to thrash metal in certain moments, ending in fade-in after an hallucinated guitar solo. With the 5 minutes of the successive “(Sgr A*) Exegesis”, the speed increases a bit but this song contains a well-structured central part starting with a doom metal passage to achieve an hellish climax while the guitar solos have sometimes that pleasant smell coming from old-school death metal and the singer M.K. continues to look a clone of Thomas Gabriel Warrior (but without his proverbial “UUUUGH”!). Finally, with the 3 minutes of “Weaponised” the speed increases again alternating this time hellish black/thrash metal assaults with abrupt doom slowdowns…and totally abrupt is the conclusion of this song! In short, the speed increases more and more during the 3 songs while their length decreases…more and more!
So, here you are a band that plays well-structured and various songs mixing bestial black/death metal, old-school death metal, thrash metal, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost-cult, doom metal and a bit of alien atmosphere (due also to the parsimonious synth played by the same B.S. – listen for example to “Weaponised”), for a style dubbed by Solar Mass with an aptly “Heavy Doom Laden Speed Metal Warfare”. Alas, the production of the demo is raw but not very much containing also some deaf drums.

In general, we are in the presence of a promising band able to vary very much its sound without confound the ideas to the listeners. Paradoxically, also if the doomish “Emergence” is my favorite song, I think that needs more ultra-violent moments to these guys in the typical Oceanic style since episodes like “Arc Furnace” are very very fuckin’ good and chaotic. Now, buy this interesting demotape and enjoy the apocalyptic artworks of Rok posted constantly on the FaceBook of Solar Mass!

1 – Arc Furnace (intro)
2 – Emergence
3 – (Sgr A*) Exegesis
4 – Weaponised
5 – Heat Death (outro)


M.K. - vocals
B.S. - guitars/bass/synths
W.B. - guitars/bass/drums

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