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Messiah Meets Progenitor

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Messiah takes a step backward...

    Unfortunately, I think this album left a lot to be desired, especially in comparison to Messiah's debut, 21st Century Jesus. The Egyptian/Middle Eastern/Indian sound style adopted by the group on this album is overemployed, being present on almost every track at some point. The Roni Size remix of Meditator sounds cheap, with its played-out, generic, monotonous and repetitively skittish beats. The cover art is another shortcoming, as it detracts from the overall aesthetic Messiah experience. The visuals of the album do not compliment the music, unlike on 21st Century Jesus, whose minimalist design added to its overall style with its sleek, simple, and clean cover. Messiah's style on this album also differs from their last one with its use of a male vocalist throughout many of the tracks, including Apocalypse, She's Gonna Wind Up... Nightbombing, and Cosmic. Maybe another vocalist could have pulled this off to a positive effect; however, this singer (who's name I didn't find any mention of in the credits) is quite average sounding with a voice lacking in uniqueness. I think the songs could have done without lyrical vocalization, and I prefer the style of Messiah's previous album in which the tracks were instrumental without singing. On top of that, the vocal stylings seemed unimaginative and lacked creativity. Implosion, Let Tyrants Tremble, and Liberators... are the best tracks on the album. Sway, which I found to be a welcome return to the style of Peace and Tranquility from their first album, goes well for the first half, but then succumbs to the gaudy middle eastern sounds that the group seems to have become so fond of. Liberators... is the prettiest and most ambient of the tracks. It starts out with the somewhat disturbing sound of a heartbeat and progresses into dreamlike instrumentals gradually followed by a determined guitar, coupled with faint haunting background vocals and effects until it collapses into cosmic synthesizers and percussion. I didn't want to rate this album too badly, because Messiah gained my loyalty with their first album. However Messiah Presents Progenitor is a decline from the ingenious craftsmanship, visionary style, and energy of their previous album, on songs such as Temple of Dreams and Beyond Good and Evil, to name a couple. I look forward to another album from them and hope that they improve over this one. Aspects of certain songs that I'd like to hear more emphasis on in the future are the sweeping orchestral breaks and choir-like vocal background harmonies combined with the driven, industrial instrumentals that make Messiah's sound distinctive, and when done right, beautiful, intriguing, fierce, and powerful.

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