Album Review: Messora – The Door 8.7 (Prog Death)

Written by Zax

  • Messora
  • The Door
  • Progressive death metal
  • Montreal, Quebec
  • October 4, 2019
  • 8.7/10

Bandcamp / Spotify / Facebook

Progressive death metal is a very underrated subgenre. I think it’s sort of overlooked because it’s pretty hard to classify, I often think of it as all encompassing yet forward thinking death metal. Every year there’s at least one progressive death record that absolutely blows me away. Last year it was Where Owls Know My Name by Rivers Of Nihil, this year it’s The Door by Messora.

Artwork by Maya Charest

Messora is the brainchild of Zach Dean, he has some help on the record and in live settings, but most of the creative process is left up to him. The aforementioned all encompassing elements that kind of come with the territory are certainly here, as the album explores technical death metal, blackened death metal, and some doom elements. One thing I appreciate about this album is how cohesive it is, despite it’s mixture of styles. The tracks flow together very nicely and that just makes the listening experience so much better.

The lyrics are beautifully written; they are incredibly poetic. All the lyrics on the record are based around a series of bad drug trips, and it shows. There’s a story here connecting it all, but I’m having trouble putting all the pieces together. Nevertheless, the lyrics are trippy and insanely well written. Here’s one of my favorite lyrics on the album, “A cold numbness beginning at the base of your skull will spread across your skin, and once at your fingertips digs deep into your flesh and beneath your bones. Death will never again frighten you, but life neither will excite. Where a vivid painting once stood, there sulks a grayscale polaroid.”

The album has 7 tracks and It’s 44 minutes long. It consists of 5 main tracks and 2 interludes. The first interlude being the track “tethered” which is a mysterious yet mellow guitar riff that goes on for about a minute and 30 seconds. It isn’t much but it adds a sense of clarity and suspense to the track list and it serves as a nice transitional piece. The second interlude is titled “Untethered.” I actually really love this track, it’s haunting and dreary with the mellow guitar riffs and background ambience mixed with Zach’s clean vocals (that are very good by the way) and a spoken word section given by his sister.

The opening and closing tracks on the record take on your more standard heavy death metal sound, with beefy Gojira-esque riffs and intense guttural growls. The track “The Pond” is a particularly interesting cut with black and doom influence laced throughout the track. It makes use of chilling acoustics, a slower pace, some mesmerizing bass lines, and a more throaty evil sounding vocal delivery from Zach for a truly dark listen. My favorite track on the album, however, is “The Veil.” That track dives head first into tech death, and boy do I love me some tech death. There are a few sections in that song where the vocals cut out and those instrumentals just steal the show. The lead guitar is very technical and intricate atop the crushing riffs, but the bass is something to behold too. The bass lines are deep, melodic, and almost entrancing, reminds me a lot of Rivers of Nihil in that way.

All of these elements I’ve discussed cultivate into one dynamic and briliant listening experience. This album is flying incredibly low under the radar right now and I think that needs to change.

It’s a damn good record.

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