Rock, Jazz, Alternative, Electronic, Avant Garde, Doom Metal, Experimental, Hardcore, Jazz Metal, Math Rock, Mathcore, Metal, Metalcore, Post Hardcore, Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Punk, Thrash Metal
"The barrier between metal and jazz has been pierced again. Like Chicago's Yakuza, the Bay Area thrash outfit The Mass augment their high-speed, staccato riffing with fluid, almost (dare I say it) harmolodic saxophone lines from vocalist Matt Walters. T...
"The barrier between metal and jazz has been pierced again. Like Chicago's Yakuza, the Bay Area thrash outfit The Mass augment their high-speed, staccato riffing with fluid, almost (dare I say it) harmolodic saxophone lines from vocalist Matt Walters. There are times when Walters launches into screeching, post-Ayler solos, in the manner of Steve Mackay on the Stooges' Fun House or Bruce Lamont on Yakuza's Way Of The Dead; the just-under-90-second "Gas Pipe" is the most extreme track on the disc, from this angle. But most of the time he does something far more interesting, adapting the cyclical, repetitive riffs of thrash metal for the saxophone. This is a change from the last album, City Of Dis, where the saxophone was as prominent as the songs were crude; Walters floated atop the primitive guitar-bass-drums crunch like Ornette Coleman fronting Napalm Death. The moody "Meditations On The Some Carcass" is the biggest leap forward for the band, stylistically and technically; it layers a bleak sax solo atop a doom-metal death march, to excellent, almost psychedelic effect. For the most part, though, Perfect Picture Of Wisdom And Boldness is an unsubtle, skull-cracking record that owes as much to My War-era Black Flag as it does to intricate, knuckle-popping thrash. Walters has no interest in stopping the moshpit so listeners can admire his nimble finger technique. Fans of the Flying Luttenbachers, Paul Flaherty, and whatever's passing for underground punk rock these days will all find something here to inspire hours of spastic contortions." -- Phil Freeman, The Wire (UK) Oct 2005