Album review: the GazettE – MASS
Only when you peer into humanity’s wretched ugliness and its darkest sins with the same eyes as Japanese metallers the GazettE’s frontman RUKI does the prospect of hope and peace seem so tragically fickle. Even a leisurely jaunt through previous albums like 2007’s STACKED RUBBISH or 2015’s DOGMA pits the listener into the deeper reaches of depravity. But after 18 months of unbearable anguish, hope and peace is precisely what the GazettE shoot for with MASS. Racing towards the vivid light of a new dawn, one which has been just out of reach for too long, the quintet’s tenth outing is abuzz with an unbridled optimism so intense it feels invincible.
A love letter to the band’s legion of fans – a striking message to never give up under the spiritual and physical adversity – MASS fires its rousing arsenal of captivating vocal hooks and vein-shredding riffs into the heart of despair. The extraordinarily heartfelt energy writhing on lead single BLINDING HOPE cannot be contained as it bleeds into the raging turbulence of ROLLIN’ and HOLD, staining the industrial soundscapes of NIGORI and THE PALE in the process. Right until the final breaths of last song, LAST SONG, the overall sensation of colossal deliverance pervades, never letting up for an instant.
MASS is certainly the GazettE’s most nuanced release for some time, yet it feels somewhat unfinished. Aside from the prevalence of KAI’s drums in the mix, occasionally drowning out his bandmates, this is the album’s biggest downfall. You’re left wanting – needing – more of what they do when they reach their fullest potential. Nonetheless this is a record of overwhelming feeling, charging back to the light, toward a future where we will rejoice side by side once again.
For Fans Of: lynch, Girugamesh, Maximum the Hormone
MASS is released on May 28 via JPU
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