After a hefty touring schedule seeing the band hit Europe, Canada and their home turf in Australia, Melbourne thrash quartet Mason return with their long awaited sophomore album, “Impervious“.
Following in the footsteps of their 2016 EP “Unmerciful“, “Impervious” sees Mason expand on their approach to the fast growing scene of Australian thrash metal. Unlike most of the contemporaries who go for the ‘everything faster than everything else’ approach, Mason have combined speed and brutality with a unique sense of melody that shines through to make this album stand out from the pack. Similar to the sound German thrash legends Kreator have adopted in the post 2000s, Mason have shifted their focus to catchy chorus phrasings and roaring leads, all the while throwing stupidly fast and groovy riffs into the mix, creating what is now their signature sound.
Once the album begins, the listener is immediately thrown through the gates of hell and into “Eligos“, the short but sweet mood setting intro of the record. At this point, the amazing production of Ermin Hamidovic already had me hooked in, eagerly awaiting for the whole thing to kick in. And kick in it did, with the fierce vocals and riffage of frontman Jimmy Benson leading a full blown assault on my eardrums, with the rest of the band firing shots at every turn. The furious drumming of “Nonda Tsatsoulis” left me really impressed, showing a massive evolution from the band’s previous releases. The drummer has made a name for himself as a force to be reckoned with in the Australian scene, and this album is a clear indicator why. Paired with bassist Steve Montalto, the duo lay down solid foundations for the band’s 6 string members to unleash hell on. But the band’s secret weapon however, comes in the form of lead guitarist Grant Burns, who delivers the role with exceptional taste and precision. Combined with shredding leads of Benson, the dual guitar attack the band displays on this release is world class, with memorable solos and licks littered throughout.
With the majority songs on the band’s debut album being written well before its release, I was really excited to hear what the band would come up with when given a fresh slate to thrash out on. The whole album is a massive step up, with tracks like “Tears of Tragedy” and “Cross This Path” showing a crucial yet smooth growth from the sound Mason have solidified in their 8 year career. Each song feels like it has had so much attention poured into it, which is the natural result of the band working hard to create a release that stands tall amongst their peers. The breakneck speed and technicality on songs like “Hellbent on Chaos” and “Sacrificed” is straight up intimidating, and I found myself constantly going back to these songs just to revel in the insanity. The melody lines that present themselves throughout the chorus’ on the album each have their own individual hook about them, making every song feel singular, which was my main gripe the first album. In short, this album is everything Mason stands for and represents, but bumped up to the next tier. I’m very excited to see how they try to top this one.