Svart • 2022

Headbanging women in a desert landscape in caftan-like clothing meet headbanging people in band t-shirts and leather jackets – notwithstanding the information that the former is an interpretation of the North African Nakh dance (also to be seen on the cover) and the latter is about the band members themselves, it is already possible to make out the essence of the whole related album in the video for the single »Pilgrim«. On »Close«, Messa’s third rethought album, a tongue-in-cheek sense of coherence blazes a trail. The fact that the Italian doom-metallers have switched to the Finnish label Svart for this album makes the confusion complete, without detracting from the transcultural spirit of the album, of course. Musically, this is expressed not only through the jazz riffs and saxophone sounds, but also through the use of Arabic instruments, the oud and the duduk, which unite amazingly inconspicuously with Sara Bianchin’s vocal variations between symphonic metal, soul and classic rock. And who would have thought that the morbid stadium bouncer ballad finale (»If You Want Her To Be Taken«) could only really be helped to ecstasy by the chirping of a mandolin? Immediately afterwards, the band goes on a grindcore excursion that doesn’t quite make sense (»Leffotrak«). That said, however, the band has already attracted attention previously with its peculiar dosage of blast beats. So, all in all: post-metal? Let’s instead agree on the post left by a YouTube user for the video mentioned at the beginning in the matter of fuzzy decrees: »Headbanging unites us!«