Wednesday 29 March 2023

Mast Year - Knife (Album Review)

Release Date: April 07th 2023. Record Label: Grimoire Records. Formats: CD/DD

Knife: Tracklisting

Fuk Boi


Weeping Tongues


Dark Web

In Tandem



The Womb

Golden Winter


Noel Mueller - Guitar

Darin Tambascio - Bass

Ben Price - Drums

Eric Rhodes - Vocals


Knife is the debut release from Noise Rock/Post-Hardcore/Industrial/Metallers Mast Year. The album is quite a violent affair with harsh Noise Rock environments leading the creative charge. The band plays at a breakneck speed with a hard attitude to match. Perhaps not the easiest album to listen to at first but Mast Year adds abrasive vocals to the mix which gives the band a more underground feel.

Opening song Fuk Boi is an interesting choice of different styles with the band adding subtle Psych Noise Rock passages to the highly experimental Industrial and Sludgy atmospherics that can be quite LO-FI in places. The song may not be to everyone's tastes but Mast Year can lay down some cool warped noises when the song decides what it finally wants to be.

Second song Null lasts for around a minute or so and it's full of screeching guitars, glitches and Ambient Noises. More Drone Punk with a despairing Doom edge that does have a warped sense of dynamic sound and twisted fun even despite the short running time.

Third song Weeping Tongue is a more interesting style with Mast Year operating with a Post-Punk/Gothic style that has a certain 1970's and 1980's charm to it. However, Mast Year brings a more violent Noise Rock and down-tuned energy to the track with the harsh vocals being quite intense in places. The instrumental work is frantic but full of dynamically powerful Post-Hardcore grooves. I can detect a slight early-era At The Drive-In sound on this track but still allowing Mast Year to deliver their uncompromising blend of music.

Fourth track Knife is another catchy slice of Distorted Punk with a twisted Metallic edge. The music is chaotic and all over the place with the raw-sounding bass being quite the most powerful instrument on this track alone. The song can be quite abrasive with its Sludge Metal sounds that will appeal to fans of The Melvins. Distortion and Experimentation is key here with Mast Year starting to impress that little bit further.

Fifth song Dark Web offers a solitary and bleak style of Experimental Rock with elements of Drone, Psych and Sonic based sounds. It's more of an instrumental interlude but it's quite a dark offering from the band where you feel not a lot actually happens but you'll be surprised by the creative journey the band take upon this song.

The second half of the album sees Mast Year stick to their creative ideals for more tales of Despair and Bleak sounds that brings back memories of Converge and Kowloon Walled City especially on tracks such as In Tandem, Loser and Golden Winter. There's a multitude of different instrumental styles on this part of the album where the Noise Rock and Post-Hardcore sounds collide for heavy outbursts of violent Metallic based music.

Knife is not the easiest album to listen to but I appreciate the dark creative vision Mast Year have used for this album. The songs all have a sense of purpose and there are elements of Doom and Sludgy environments to entice listeners with.

Overall, Knife is an electrifying and intense listen which I will only admire more greatly over time. It's one of those types of albums that has "CULT APPEAL'' and perhaps build a decent sized audience within the Metal Underground scene in the years to come.

Words by Steve Howe.

Thanks to Mast Year and Earsplit PR for the promo.

Knife available to buy on CD/DD via Grimoire Records from April 07th 2023.


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