Despite being on the Slovak Metal Army label, Mean Messiah are a Czech outfit who run a nice line in thumpingly heavy, techno-tinged metal leavened with the sort of spacey, uplifting melodies usually found on a Devin Townsend album.
It’s a nice mixture; the robotic slamfest of The Beast is probably the only track that doesn’t really fit this template, rather being an out-and-out banger designed to test the neck muscles of whoever happens to be listening for the most part. However even here the band throw in little earworms to tempt the finer sensibilities, the result being something that at once sounds crushingly familiar yet unlike most of what’s doing the rounds in the 2020 metal marketplace.
The other thing to note is that, apart from the head-kicking immediacy of We Shout (which amusingly throws a bit of Andrew WK into the sonic mix), and not withstanding the carefully-constructed melodic passages, this is an album that rewards repeated listens. You’ll put the album on for the first time and it’ll largely pass you by, as you wrongly write it off as a slightly derivative exercise in Townsend worship. By the third or fourth listens, however, the album will have it’s hooks in you as you get sucked in to it’s ebb, flow, and glorious bombast.
Industrial blaster Blood Of Sirens mutates into the far more easy-on-the-lugs The Call, evidencing the fact that Mean Messiah know a thing or two about nuance, too. This is top draw composition, and the ability to weave two disparate sections into one cohesive piece shows that the trio (comprised of founder member, vocalist and guitarist Dan Friml, drummer Jiří Willander and bassist David Gabriel) are fairly adept at creating a feeling of dynamism with their music.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from Mean Messiah having been given the album to review with no prior knowledge of the band; but I’d consider myself a fan now, and think you will too if you give this album a decent chance to worm it’s way into your affections.
Divine Technology is out on May 5th.