I got Black Mass a little while back and had it in line to be listened to, but had skipped over it a couple times. Mainly because of their name, JUST LIKE VINYL. Think it’s a bit cheesy, and yes I know I should not judge a book by it’s cover, but when I have other music in front of me that I’m excited about, looking forward to, or know what to expect, it makes it difficult to listen to something that right of the bat isn’t appealing to you. My mistake. I finally got around to giving it a listen from a little nudge and was quite surprised. Though most would hear a similarity to Coheed & Cambria, and I would agree, I also hear At The Drive-In and Glassjaw, only more progressive – which is awesome.
The opening track, “Safety Word,” is the best example of what’s in store on Black Mass, solid melodic post-hardcore with a progressive edge. “Bitches Get Stitches” is next which instantly hooks you in with melodic string work and the drums keep going to keep your head bobbing. At this point you may start to recognize the voice of singer/guitarist Thomas Erak, who you may better know as the vocalist for The Fall of Troy who disbanded in 2010. His voice is amazing, mellow and soft at times and abrasive and loud during others. The next track to get stuck in my head is “Hours And Whiskey Sours,” the string work from Erak, fellow guitarist Jake Carden, and bassist Henry Batts is filled with groove and melody that really carry the song. ”Sucks To be You” is one of the more faster and aggressive songs on the effort. Faster guitars, faster drumming, the aforementioned abrasive vocals are dominant here, all though there is a soft chorus, the song is punchy and straight to it.
The rest of the songs are good, nothing spectacular. The stand out tracks appear early on, but overall Black Mass is a great album to have playing when you want something a bit light yet a with an edge. Be a good album to jam to while going for a long drive, soothing enough to keep you relaxed, progressive enough to keep your attention, and aggressive enough to keep you going.