Bad Mask are a fairly new band hailing from New Jersey. The band deals in semi technical Metal. While not being as technical as some bands they tend to carry the torch of early Dillinger Escape Plan. Meaning that they go through more than a few time changes within their songs. There is a heavy focus on dissonant riffing and off kilter vocals. This style has been done to death although not nearly as much recently.
Musically the bands guitarists take most of the load. The guitars weave in and out of the mix playing semi technical riffs throughout each song. This makes for a rather chaotic sound overall. The guitar playing is of a rather high caliber making for an interesting listen on its own. Throughout each song they include pieces of melodies making for a stronger overall aesthetic. Meanwhile they also include rote breakdowns within each song. This makes for a rather strange dichotomy with all of the technically appealing parts. The breakdowns, while I'm sure they go over pretty well in a live setting seem to do more to take away from the overall songs. The rhythm section makes things more interesting as they seem to be able to stop on a dime and and create a reckless feeling without really going off into oblivion. The drums are played with a strong sense of accuracy while maintaining the generally chaotic sound of the band.
The vocals are where the songs get truly interesting. Whisper to a scream to a growl seems to sum it up as simply as possible. The vocals are really strong throughout the album. Following every other instrument's need for chaos. The screams come over the top while growls and vaguely clean, if not somewhat whiny, vocals come from nowhere. The death growl backing vocals that peak their head out sometimes tend to make things sound a bit more silly than anything else. This seems to be done to make things sound "heavier" instead they sound ridiculous at best.
What can be said is that the band went all out on making this a very clean sounding record. Each instrument can be heard clearly within the mix never overtaking it's peers. The band clearly has a good bit of talent but seems to have very little direction in making their influences coalesce within the course of a song. This would be a band to watch for in the future. In the meantime the listener gets a strong record that points towards better days ahead.
7.1 / 10
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