Inactive Messiah

Inactive Messiah

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Of all things, Inactive Messiah's greatest achievement as a heavy metal band may well be their laudable incorporation of space into the songs heard in this eponymous 2004 release -- a rare example of accessible results in songcraft for a genre best known for instrumental and volume-based overkill. Accomplished drummer Catherine dictates the band's precision-based arrangements, which feature complementary, airtight riffs from guitarists Dimitris and Thanos, and a deathly gruff vocal performance by Mineiro that's noticeably clued into rap's attention to rhythmic intonation. Conversely, although a key songwriter and founding member, bassist Lefteris is mostly along for the ride here (as is frequently the case with heavy metal), and keyboardist Christos tends to make his presence known by his scarcity as much as his timely, often merely mood-enhancing contributions throughout -- the synth beat-laden "Shut the Fuck Up," being a notable exception. At times reminiscent of Cleansing-era Prong, this and additional album highlights such as "Building Your God" and "Blossom of Paranoia" deliver that vaunted sense of space with clever contrasts of dual guitar harmonies and shrieking harmonics, as well as distinctive and all-powerful grooves. Diversions from this successful template include, on the downside, the overly nu-metal atonal nuances of openers "T.C.D.D." and "Give Me All," and, on the upside, the melodic vocals employed on "Tell Me One Reason," and, finally, the gothic melodies and atmospherics contained in closers "Back to Life/Memories" and "Marble Smiling Face." All told, the above attributes make for an imminently approachable and seductive record, one that may greatly surprise initially cynical listeners with repeated plays.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
blue highlight denotes track pick