There must be some serious stimulants in the water in Australia because the thrash bands coming out of that country right now like to play FAST. The biggest name might be Harlott (currently signed to Metal Blade Records), but headbangers should not sleep on Mason, who can deliver just as vicious and as forceful of a thrashing. “Impervious” is the band’s second record, and comes on the heels of a Canadian tour supporting Annihilator. It’s easy to see why Mason caught the attention of the Canadian thrash gods because this record is an incredibly pure, focused release. Names like Incubus, Sadus, and Torture come to mind as groups that delivered a constant fist to the face of speed in a similar manner to Mason.
This isn’t to say that Mason only focuses on speed; in fact, they often break the music down a bit when kicking off a solo, only to later revert to their whiplash-inducing ways. By far the most potent example of the band’s brilliance is “Tears of Tragedy”. Not only is this the fastest song on the record, but it is also the catchiest. The rhythm playing on this track will destroy just about anyone’s picking hand. Accompanying the lightning quick riffs are spitfire vocals that unleash seemingly hundreds of words a minute. Mason’s vocalist is difficult to understand on this song; not because he uses any sort of more extreme singing style, but simply because he’s belting out words faster than the brain can comprehend (one can only wonder how he plays guitar and sings at the same time, but having seen it live, I can confirm he is able to do it).
Though one song stands tall above the others, there is still plenty of great songwriting on this record. Both “The Afterlife” and “Impervious” are major highlights. The former song has a huge mid-paced breakdown in the chorus, and closes with unbelievable harmonies that launch into a shredding solo. The latter track also uses melody effectively, but instead integrates it into the chorus. The opening riff to “Impervious” also gives some huge modern Exodus vibes, both with the guitar tone and the riffing itself.
The best thing about Mason is that their eagerness for playing thrash really shines through. They don’t forget that thrash metal fans want to hear thrash metal; not death metal or black metal. Sure, there are a couple of blastbeats, but if you just want a band that plays fast and will make you bang your head insanely hard, Mason is the perfect choice. True to the subgenres’ roots, the band is able to incorporate Maiden/Priest influences into their music, while still spending the majority of the time thrashing. There might be some bands that are better songwriters than Mason, but few are as convincing in their playing as these Aussies!
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"Tears of Tragedy"
4.6/5 or 92%.
Written by Scott