Bunbury’s (WA) own Medusa’s Gaze finally has unleashed their debut masterpiece and to be honest I was not expecting this to be of such a big proportion. I know these guys are talented and all but this really hit me in the jaw and I was astonished at how well written this album is. From start to finish it’s a total juggernaut, with some intricate passages and the solos! Metal can be so rewarding when things come your way slowly.
Some of the songs have been written in the past few years and had been recorded all over again – and it sounds fresher and heavier. I guess sometimes, if you want to change something – make it better and bigger – and here they’ve done it especially the vocals of Adam McDonald. It brings out the best in every song with his different styles of singing from the operatic to growling, melodic, and even a bit of nu-metal. It makes it interesting when he busts his lungs out with the opener “Taken From Life.” What a way to start the album! This song has been reworked and sounds huge! It’s a procession of riffs, drums pounding, bass scorching along and the vocals! When the song reach the climax with a face-melter of a solo you’re probably expecting the song to end right there. But out of nowhere a monster riff appears and the song transforms into a different beast of it’s own. If this is only the first song what will come next?
“Disappear” is one of those songs that chugs along and shows the melodic side of the band. The vocal changes between melodic and growling are one of a kind. The drums here totally grooves. By the time the song is nearing the end another twist comes along and again another melting riff changes the direction of the song and blows it out of proportion. I think if I talk about every single song here I could write a book about it as the whole album is just so dark. When the title is The Rise Of The Gorgon you are hooked and want to get sucked in.
One of the songs that really got my attention was “Venner Reality” – not because it’s the most extreme song in the album, but the total opposite. It is one of the most melodic, simple melodies taking you to another level; delicate and simple it has a touch of eeriness sometimes. But it’s not long until it becomes a raging outlet. Expect the unexpected I guess.
When I said that “To Ashes We Burn” is one of the highlights of the album, the guitar solos are incredible amazing. The opening riff is so catchy and electrifying, it feels like the guitars are trading solos. It reminds me a bit of old Cacophony here. Suddenly, the unexpected again, the song just totally drops and morphs into an eerie piece of music – but not for long until the guitars kick in and bring the ship back afloat again.
“Beyond The Gallows” is the single of the album and this is the song that makes Medusa’s Gaze an entity of it’s own. This is the song that would make you want to pump your fist and chant along the lyrics. The Nevermore influence is here and the tempo changes a few times but that’s what makes it interesting. There’s riffs galore and the rhythm never cease to slow down, is one of those epic songs that never seems to end and you don’t want it to end specially when the guitar solo marches in and torch everything around it, by now the adrenaline levels are scorching and I want more.
Simmering slowly to the point of reaching boiling point this album will take over and you will subdue to the infinite procession of riffs. Nevertheless when you hear songs like “Eternal Rage” or “Darkness Of Hell” especially the former where the drums and the bass previews what’s to come and the guitars riffs explodes to deliver another blow to our senses taking us where progressive metal is to a different world where the guitars and drums reign supreme and there’s no limit to create something unique and special.
In saying this it’s really exciting to see this from local metal acts. Who says we need to look elsewhere to look for quality music when we got the best talent in our own backyard? This group is just pouring their emotions, like in “Darkness In Hell” has those heavy parts and the experimental parts. Some of the growling vocals are like from the depths of hell. This song is more of a ride to the experimental side but still keeps the momentum going for the final attack. “Ravenous Mind” creeps like an endless attack of riffs and pounding drums until the clean singing brings us some clarity. But not for long until those thrashy riffs melt our faces again. This song is intense for some periods and has that vibe of ‘you don’t know what’s coming next.’ It is not the same formula in every song, always keeping you on your toes and that’s what I always look for in an album – music that will raise the back of my hairs. This album was not expected.
So here you are. This is a total gem. Now buy the album and support the local scene – they need your support. Without the fans they are nothing. We need to show our support. “Hold on to you, what’s left of you” because after you hear this album there won’t be much left.
YOU CAN ORDER RISE OF THE GORGON HERE.