Sometimes there isn’t a better way to start a New Year than by checking out some new music. When this promo arrived in the Moshville inbox, the band instantly caught my eye. Formed in 2015 and hailing from Winnipeg (Canada), Dark Messiah are an old-skool inspired band with a sound which is based on thrash at its core with groovy and melodic elements. Their latest effort, a self-titled EP, showcases what the up-and-coming band have to offer.
The EP is composed of five songs – “Dark Messiah”, “Death From Above”, “Eliminate the Enemy”, “No Soul to Sell” and “Your Final Breath”. Each song has plenty of simple but catchy riffs that are mostly played to a mid-paced beat. Vocalist Stephen Chubaty has a gruff roar which compliments the music perfectly; his vocals combined with the band’s musical style gives a vibe somewhat reminiscent of Xentrix. Drummer Robert Schau particularly showcases his skills with a plethora of ever-changing ideas that uses the whole kit to its fullest in every song.
Dark Messiah is a good effort from the band, however, I feel the songs are in need of refinement. Whilst the drums are quite impressive, there’s a little too much technicality to the parts which makes it a little too cluttered for my liking. Such as in the intro to “Eliminate the Enemy” which has a great catchy melodic riff with a simple pulsing baseline underneath it. However the drums exhibit a lot of frantic tom work which cloud the strings. I feel some more understated cymbal shimmers with the occasional kick and tom hits would be a vast improvement and add to the building atmosphere of the intro.
The same could be said when it comes to some of the lead guitar ideas which, in my opinion, often start well then veer off into something more half-baked. Unfortunately this detracts from the quality of the song. One example of this is in “Death From Above” which I think is a great song riff-wise until the guitar solo comes in. The solo has some great scale runs which then lead into repeating unison bends and then another repeating idea higher up on the fretboard. In some respects this can come across as too busy over the more minimalistic riff that underpins the solo, and in others it can appear lazy.
The production is also something which detracts from the quality of the EP. It sounds like an amateur and inexperienced production job with a rather dry sounding triggered drumkit, which in terms of levels, overpowers the fuzzy sounding guitars. The lead guitar also sounds quite harsh and overpowers the riffs causing an unpleasant sounding clash in the middle of the songs.
Overall, I feel that Dark Messiah’s self-titled EP showcases that the band has a lot of potential to be a great band to keep an eye on. However I feel that if the band returned to the studio and edited and refined their ideas (particularly in terms of drum fills, guitar solos and production), the record would have been much better. They’re definitely a band with heaps of potential and could be something great as they grow together in time to come. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.
Score – 5/10
Dark Messiah is out now