The Mass – Towards Darkness (2004)
Genre: General Metal / Hardcore
Label: Twilight Records
Country of Origin: Canada
Band Formation: 2001
Joel Cyr – lead guitar
Simon Carignan – keyboards
Nick Richards – drums
Kevin Jones – bass/vocals
03. The Beacon / Interception
05. Vile Requiem
06. Towards Darkness
Run time: 47 minutes (approximately)
Review: General Metal is a toned down, mid-tempo form of metal which has always been an interesting genre to me. I have been looking for some good musicians in the genre, and it is hardly any who manage to stay at the cusp that is above rock, and below heavy metal. The hardcore element is induced strictly by the lyrics. I could call them a mix between death and doom metal.
This album takes you on a journey that I have always wanted to be a part of via listening to some current metal music. Sadly, I never reached that stage until this album came to me. I must add that this album is strictly an acquired taste. It reminds me of my experience with sheesha in Middle Eastern countries. It stinks quite badly. It is quite harmful as the intake is unknown. But, one’s enthusiasm to taste the local style provokes a trial. And, then your first inhale chokes you. Your lungs grow repulsive to it. But, you’re in the zone now, and you want to take another puff. So, you inhale again. Your eyes water, you cough a little less, but you still go ahead. And, within no time, you enjoy it with a smile on your face. Then, you blow rings away. Then, it becomes irresistible. It doesn’t matter whether you are a smoker or not, this stuff tops it up!
An evident Pink Floyd and King Crimson influence can be found in this album. The prolonged songs take its own time to pace-up and the daunting riffs give that psychedelic feel to the listeners, without really intending to. Most of the songs start in a dissected manner. But, in the end, the composition has so much harmony that it makes complete sense. It is like rolling a cigarette. Lay the paper flat, sprinkle some tobacco, chuck the filter towards one end, roll the paper around it, tap it with the filter towards the bottom, press it between your lips, light it and smoke it! The end result, from a smoker’s point of view is just fantastic!
The atmosphere of this album is quite sombre. But, when you hear to the song in total, those gloomy elements make perfect sense. The added advantage is that these gloomy elements can easily be differentiated from the heavier sections. Therefore, the musical implications and their respective doom-like lyrical connection do not go unnoticed.
I recommend that metalheads who are keen on increasing their taste, and the ones who are keen on experimentation to listen to this album. But, make sure that you listen to the songs entirely and not just in bits. I cannot stress enough that this is important for you to completely understand the song.
Highlights of the album: The entire track list