"Dark Mass Medium" Special Edition (DMSP; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Dark Mass has re-released their excellent CD, "Dark Mass Medium," in this special edition that contains three new tracks, plus a DVD. As they say, you can't get too much of a good thing so this Special Edition is welcome.

The three new tracks are: "Blazing Sides of Insanity," a blistering guitar piece that works as a fiery lead-in for the crushing "Neon Revelations"; the strangely named "Possession Ocean Flaming Shores," a track that fits "Dark Mass Medium" so well it was probably originally recorded for the set and "Tearing the Wings Off," a milder and fitting end piece for the CD. 

The DVD contains four inexpensively shot but entertaining videos (three of which feature monstrous growling vocals!). It's amazing to watch these guys play! Talk about fast and furious!

Bottom line: You really don't need to pick up this Special Edition if you've already purchased the original edition of "Dark Mass Medium" but, if you're a fan of the band and this CD, it's nice to have the extras included here.

Dark Mass: D. Suvor - guitar; A. Bolt - drums; S. Neighbour - bass and other.

For more information, check out http://www.myspace.com/darkmassdark.

"Dark Mass Medium" (Self-produced; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The problem with too many instrumental albums is that they don't tell their story as well as a CD with vocals does. That's understandable - for obvious reasons, music alone isn't as clear as are lyrics made up of words.

That's where Dark Mass succeeds where others fail. Despite the fact that "Dark Mass Medium" is a pure instrumental album, each track is full of its own character, its own style and its own unique power. This is a tribute to the musicians who make up the band as well as the people behind the console who have made "Dark Mass Medium" sound so crisp, clear and balanced.

"Dark Mass Medium" begins with the title track, a fast-paced, driving song reminiscent of the Megadeth sound. The balance of the CD follows suit - each song bearing a full-blooded character of its own. Track 3, "Guyee Shoomliat," almost sounds like the theme to a Jerry Bruckheimer action adventure film, while the piano opening of "Fires of Euphora" has a classic, haunting sound that then gallops into an irresistible, almost Gothic piece.

Musicianship and production are the real stars here. The members of Dark Mass display dizzying levels of varied talent. The guitar solos are swift and razor-sharp, but never step outside the realm of what works for the song. The drums and bass keep the music steady while being allowed a little room to explore themselves. And the additional instruments, a la the aforementioned piano, are thrown in not to show us how great the band members can play, but because they fit the tone and attitude of the music.

The production is stellar throughout, especially for a self-produced CD. "Dark Mass Medium" is ready to be pressed and distributed by a major label as is. No post-demo tweaking is necessary.

This is one of those CDs that you're thrilled to stumble upon - great music from a band you've never heard of ... but that you can't wait to hear more from.

Dark Mass: D. Suvor - guitar; A. Bolt - drums; S. Neighbour - bass and other.

For more information, check out http://www.myspace.com/darkmassdark.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2022 15:00:07 -0400.