Beginning with the colouring of an old vinyl and smashing into a devilish yet melodic riff, Meshiaak’s latest release Mask Of All Misery is no doubt going to be a hit with thrash and metal lovers out there. As the album continues however, you will hear that this introduction only serves to almost mislead you into thinking you are in for a pure, heavy thrash beating. The spoken word sections in first track “Miasma” seem a little outdated but the fun-loving guitar riffs and utterly insane solo’s make up for that and much more. The vocals are a diverse mix of hardcore, thrash and resonating cleans. The band clearly have a lot of influences and clearly love metal. The symphonic sections are welcome and bring a lighter, classy side to an otherwise all out ferocious brawl. The production is huge with the drums cutting through the mix tightly and the bass not being overly distorted, which has become a common trend in the more extreme genres.
There are moments of hard rock (or dare I say it, nu-metal) with the call and respond on the vocal leads which you can hear in “Bury The Bodies”. But rather than coming across as a band trying to bring back the early 00’s baggy jeans and chains, Meshiaak modernise the architecture that got us into metal in the first place. The guitar solo’s come straight out of the hair metal scene, but much, much more aggressive. The riffs are a Slayer (RIP) / Testament hybrid. The vocals cross between Trivium and Hatebreed. The rhythm section is bullet proof, laying a foundation for a band who would be a solid addition to any metal festival line up.
Rarely did any moments fall flat in Mask Of All Misery. Some of the chorus’s felt a little underwhelming and forced but this was only in comparison to some truly killer thrash sections. But hey, that’s what being in a diversified and musically proficient band will bring. Not every moment will be for everyone, however, the skill displayed across the album is superb.
“Adrena” was a welcome boost of energy after the album took a softer turn mid-album, going full acoustic for “Doves.” Only on the final track “Godless” did Meshiaak return to the aggressive battery displayed at the start of the album, even with it’s ‘raise your lighter’ interlude moment, before the Randy Rhodes-esq guitar solo chimes in.
Overall, Meshiaak give us a solid metal album with a medley of influences and genres although often picking the lighter, commercial side to lean on in an otherwise bellicose symphony.
Mask Of All Misery is out now