Poland’s Masachist could be considered a superband of sorts, comprising past and present members of other prominent Polish extreme metal bands such as Azarath, Decapitated and Vesania. Yet it is surprising that it isn’t until the release of their sophomore full length album, Scorned that I chanced upon them, with the band lurking in relative obscurity since their formation in 2005. With each of the members of the band having rather impressive portfolios, the expectations for Scorned are extremely high, and leaves me wondering if this unholy union would be able to match up with the expectations that fans of Polish extreme metal are going to place upon them.
The band wastes no time in unleashing their brand of brutality as crushing riffs rain on the listener right from the opening moments of Drilling the Nerves. While the band starts off rather slowly, things slowly build up, with a foreboding atmosphere at the background helping to build up the dark and haunting mood in the music. Sauron’s vocals are extremely abrasive here, and presents a style that sees him incorporating a sort of howl that vocalists such as Martin van Drunen utilise into his already harsh and guttural vocals. As expected from Thrufel’s past experiences with bands like Azarath, the riffs that are unleashed by himself and Aro are crushing and relentless, with the typical Polish sounds, though there is a certain sense of technicality that is present in the song structures as well, sounding precisely what one would expect in a fusion of the brutal technicality of Decapitated and the dark death metal of Azarath. Songs like Manifesto (100% D.M.K.M.) even sees a slight black metal influence in their guitar playing.
Drummer Daray also proves his talents on his instrument as he constantly uses his instrument in a rather unique way. On top of the usual blast beats, there are also moments where he plays the drums as a melodic instrument rather than being satisfied with playing a percussive and rhythmic role, such as on Straight and Narrow Path, resulting in a rather quirky effect. Bassist Heinrich also has a rather high prominence on the album, with his bass guitars being mixed rather high and clearly throughout the album and one often gets to hear him complementing the guitars with his equally complex bass playing style.
The band’s songwriting also ranges from straightforward, blasting numbers like The Process of Elimination to songs like Inner Void that see the band exploring their songwriting style, which sees the band slowly building up to a climax and experimenting with more complex song structures. As the album progresses, it would start to become clear that the intention of Masachist is not to be a band that plays as fast as possible. Instead, more often than not it seems that the aim of the band is to pursue the art of brutality, and even on songs like Manifesto (100% D.M.K.M.) that contains some of the fastest works of Daray on the album aren’t exactly that fast, with guitarists Thrufel and Aro choosing to bury the listener under slabs of heavy riffs instead.
If one loves the various bands that each of the individual members have been a part of, then one would easily get into Masachist‘s Scorn. With each of the band members bringing some of their influences into the band, Scorned at times sounds like what the result of throwing the very best of each band into a huge melting pot would sound like.