The Prophet Feeds
posted on 7/2010 By:
From the ever-reliable Wikipedia:
"The masakari is an ancient Japanese weapon. This battle axe was used by the Yamabushi, the warrior monks. The blade is made of heavy metal with a spike opposite which is attached to the wooden haft through the means of a socket."
The blade of that axe may be made of heavy metal, but these ten tunes are mostly made of punk.
Like Early Graves, whose latest offering I also reviewed recently, Cleveland's Masakari is predominantly a crusty d-beat-inflected hardcore outfit, blending their metallic punk with the thickness of sludge, the fury of grind and occasionally the controlled riffing of death metal. With tempos that range from a full-on assault to a driving mid-tempo groove, Masakari's approach is sometimes more deliberate and more controlled than many of their crust-sludge-grind-punk-metal peers, not as reliant solely upon the pounding bite—at times, with some well-placed melodic guitar-work lurking in the grime, The Prophet Feeds is even oddly anthemic.
Now that’s not to say that Masakari doesn’t pound your senses, because they certainly do, and they pound ‘em often, but they’ve got a good sense of how to mix up the grinding anger with gnarly but catchy moments like the fist-pumping middle part of album-opener "XVI Rapid Dominance." (The album’s tracks, presumably continuing in numerical order from the band’s earlier releases, start with part sixteen.) The album’s standout piece is the near-perfect destructiveness of "XIV The Voiceless," with its brilliant bulldozer main riff and melodic, razor-sharp middle section. The band utilizes samples from time to time throughout the disc to hammer home some of their viewpoints, as in the anti-dog-fighting sample that opens "X Pain Conceived As A Tool" or the protracted spoken-word-atop-sludge-riffing "Outro."
Overall, the album's brisk pace and quick running time keep it from getting stale, although it does whip by in a blur of Progression / Regression meets Owsla meets Arise! meets Seizures In Barren Praise… Somewhere between those influences, between Wolfbrigade, Bolt Thrower, Fall Of Efrafa, Discharge, Amebix, Trap Them, and the metal-driven madness of Japanese hardcore lies Masakari. Not an absolutely essential purchase, but for fans of all those bands I just listed, a welcome addition to the collection.
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