Band: Mass Hypnosia
Released date: January 25th, 2019
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Ragnarök Records
More than two years since the 2016 sophomore full-length “Toxiferous Cyanide“, and after releasing a couple of demos and EPs the following years, the Philippines‘ Mass Hypnosia is back with a new studio record which houses aggressively heavy riffs, straight blasting drum work, vanquishing bass lines, and some Hadean-like abrupt vocal snarls. This new release is called “Vicious” and the name itself describes how remorseless and cold-blooded this latest offering is. Now, if you have been following the band then you might have heard of their 2017 demo with the same album title, but this latest effort is far from the same of the previous material as this album exhibits how Mass Hypnosia had pushed the combativeness and aggression of their previous works to new heights.
Released under Ragnarök Records, “Vicious” — running under 34 minutes — is a very fiery, violent, and a very hellish record that manifests how the band is able to grow from time with their musicianship, and shows a more thrashy Mass Hypnosia, as the album is not the typical seminal death/thrash metal release that these Filipinos usually put-out but rather a pretty standard thrash release with quite as much compositional quality. The offering covers some quality speed changing tunes, from slow to mid-paced to fast-paced, in the form of the punishing ‘The Weak Shall Die‘, the catchy ‘Blasphemous Rage‘ with some downright awesome melodic character thrown in, and the erratically sluggish and unmerciful ‘Choking Point‘. But my favorite among all the tracks here is ‘Proceed the Torture‘, as this piece for me is an ideal headbanging song which can give the listeners that intense feeling of trashing out their living rooms.
The guitar section is just so fucking catchy and brutal. One can encounter a lot of razor-sharp riffs in here that are frantic, energetic, dynamic and really fucking memorable. Listeners can hear loads of “Endless Pain” and “Pleasure to Kill” era Kreator-inspired thrash riffs in the album while, nevertheless, they can also catch how the band had still obviously inserted a few of mid-paced death metal riffs in there. These riffs can get stuck in your head quite remarkably and they are pretty fucking real head movers. I am not exaggerating on these next words, but from the opening track to the end, you get a sheer quality amount of impressive riffs that will keep your head banging for a timeless eon.
As I mentioned in the first paragraph of this review, the drum work here is straight blasting and pummeling. It is quite maniacal and animalistic. If anything really epitomizes the album title, it is the drums which are in the most essential respect ‘vicious’. Try to focus on the record when the music slows down to a mid-paced level and you’ll hear that the intensity of the drums really pounds, and on songs with faster tempos the drums are going with some all-out berserk fury. There’s thrash beats, death metal blast beats, and as the guitars, amidst its mind-blowing brutality, it’s also reasonably catchy. The drumming fits in well with the music of Mass Hypnosia and they really do not fall behind in this department at all. Now, the listeners won’t get a lot from the bass lines here, except how truly annihilating it is and how it fuels the album to its final destination of shattering the listeners’ mind, but it sure brings forth a solid subsonic cornerstone for the vortex of noise created by the guitars and the drums.
The vocal department is raspy, warmongering, and still as venomous as ever. Karl‘s throat-shredded vocals go fucking amazing as time passes by. It is almost as if he was possessed by a thousand Mephistophelian-like beings when he performed his vocal duties on this new opus, much like an early Jeff Becerra and Roger Petersson. His piercing cries are filled with malevolence that even some death metal vocalists these days are not able to pull off to a convincing degree as he does. That semi-polished, yet raw, production of this offering also adds to the foulness and vileness of the compositions. I also do not have any complaint about the production as everything is properly mixed in the recording. The album also has this remarkably insane atmosphere that you find only in a few extreme metal releases these days. And who can fucking not get amazed by the striking and eye-catching cover art? Man, this album artwork is brilliantly detailed and it says everything that the record is all about.
All in all, “Vicious” is a total headbanger and it is a fucking killer release that defines Mass Hypnosia as a mature band than they were before. If you people are seeking for a straight-out thrash metal album with a few death metal elements tossed in, then look no further and have no reason to skip this latest opus from Mass Hypnosia. Now, this really isn’t that revolutionary or unconventional by any meaning in extreme metal, nothing really groundbreaking in here, but it’s a damn exceptional record that I would refer with the highest recommendation. This is Mass-fucking-Hypnosia for you, ladies and gentlemen! Vicious thrash fucking metal attack!!!!