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15 February, 2016

Interview with MSHAA

February 13th, 2016:

Interview with MSHAA (industrial metal, electro metal, Poland)

NINa: Which acronym of the band name's meaning resonates with you best?

CS (Cien Soulwhore): They are two equally important acronyms... The first meaning - Mary Should've Had An Abortion - is to criticize religion and encourage people to do their own research about the real history of Christianity...
The Catholic Church started persecuting and killing non-believers as early as the 4th century. The slaughter of heretics, Jews, atheists, agnostics and pagans was supported by Vatican for over a thousand years. The cult of Jesus has been used to create the false empire, built on slavery, torturers, murders and pedophilia scandals. Prevailing religions were implemented by way of violence, which makes the Christians at least as adept at mass murders as the Jihadists. Holy Inquisition murdered nine million women, worshipers of the Great Mother, accusing them of satanic witchcraft. The native population of what is now South America was literally massacred going from 80.000 to 10,000 people. They've destroyed the pagan cultures, dissipating the real legacy of first holidays. So if people cannot draw any conclusion from the life and death of their "messiah", then perhaps the "holy birth" propaganda was just a waste of time.

Read full interview here 

Dystopia album review: here

Interview by Fabryka Music Magazine

MSHAA - Dystopia

MSHAA - Dystopia |self-released, 2015| 4/5 industrial metal, electro metal

1. Dystopia (intro), 2. No Way Back, 3. Nuclear Fallout, 4. Beyond The Lambs, 5. The Earth Is Bleeding, 6. Suck My Gun, 7. Dealer, 8. We're Used To The Rules Of The World We Made Up, 9. Walking In My Shoes, 10. The Imperfect Gods, 11. Delusion, 12. Dehumanized Society

MSHAA was founded by Cien Soulwhore (vocals/synths/programming) in Poland in 2011, who was afterwards joined by cEndyman on drums and Darth on guitar. According to the musicians, the acronym can be translated to Mary Should’ve Had An Abortion but 'msza' also means 'holy mass' in Polish. MSHAA's sound can be described as a blend of dark electro, industrial, cyber metal and horror, traditionally inspired by music of Ministry, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Skinny Puppy, or early Nine Inch Nails. When it comes to the subjects covered on the album, the songs describe degradation of the human kind, media manipulation, as well as enforced theocracy.

At the very beginning, listeners - citizens of Earth - are greeted with a message from aliens or ancient spiritual guides. The spoken words are floating in a cloud of airy, noisy, modulated sounds and accompanying SFX. Initially the first full track on the album - 'No Way Back' - continues this motif from 'Dystopia (intro)', but then a high electro synth comes in at full force and takes the lead. Since the song's subject and mood sound uneasy, the synth is joined by drums, guitars and vocals simultaneously, adding more heaviness and torment.

'Nuclear Fallout' seems like an evergreen theme amongst industrial music fans because it conveys both fear and fascination with the possibility of global annihilation and the curiosity of what would happen next. The song makes for a neat reminder of 90's simplistic aggro-industrial as it's based on a marching rhythm, guitar riffs and hateful vocals. Another classic theme - organized religion with its close-mindedness and superstitious fears - appears in the form of 'Beyond The Lambs'. It begins with agitation, thanks to the fast tempo and modern vibe provided by the mix of heavy guitars, jumpy drum beats and synths. Verses and choruses sound much more distinctive and separate when compared to the previous track.

'The Earth Is Bleeding' sounds hooky from the very beginning thanks to its dynamic 'phat' beat and aggressive vibe - a solid reference to 90's industrial music in the vein of Skinny Puppy. The song warns against a foreign nation draining natural resources such as oil in other countries under the cover of bringing peace and protection. The choruses are memorable, and the general production is very sharp, both making this track a true hit. The bouncy rhythm continues into 'Suck My Gun' as well, which is an 'electro' reply to Marilyn Manson's music, with equally explicit lyrics about a psychopathic murderer looking for revenge due to a failed relationship. The atmosphere feels dense and sluggish with the song's heavy instrumentation, though the choruses are catchy. 'Dealer' has a lot of hit potential too and will be instantly noticed by fans of industrial metal. This composition is one of the best on the album because all arrangements are equally distributed throughout the track, instead of being simply collected and repeated. Plus, the guitar riffs use in the track infuse the body with a nice vibration.

The multi-layered melodic lines and sounds along with declaimed lyrics engage both ears nicely in 'We're Used To The Rules Of The World We Made Up' which mirrors the naive yet twisted atmosphere known better from Skinny Puppy's music. The subject matter here refers again to false spirituality that provides no care to its supporters, but is focused on own financial gain first and foremost.

If you're looking for an earworm, 'Walking In My Shoes' is a very strong candidate. Not only does it have a memorable melody line together with wicked vocals aligned to an average tempo, but also a clearly dystopian atmosphere and grim lyrics. Next, 'The Imperfect Gods' speaks about gods of technology whom the narrator blames for arrogant and spoiled humans, triggering wars based on fearful survival instincts. A high-pitched, disturbing synth starts it all off and continues throughout the track. This motif is layered with down-tuned guitars, a damped beat and distorted vocals, although the synth occasionally comes back to the surface.
Obviously, love as a topic couldn't have been skipped on the album, since that emotion is an inseparable part of the human life. 'Delusion' speaks of a romantic disappointment, accompanying the album's joyless atmosphere. It sounds more electronic than guitar-driven and the song lyrics match the instrumentation very well - they leave space for both parts to balance and then combine together.

Finally, gadget lovers should pay attention to 'Dehumanized Society', which also provides more beats, industrial noises and vocals rather than guitars, ending the release on a lullaby-like note. The vocal style suggests that we can sleep safely now since there's nothing to worry about - we have been reduced to files in a human database, notoriously tracked and controlled by various electronic devices, deprived of privacy, comfortable alternatives, and the liberty of opting-out.

Dystopia, just as the title suggests, is not an uplifting release and it clearly wasn't meant to be one. The depth of drums usually sounds alike in most songs, perhaps to reflect a lifeless society's tedious rhythm. The endings of most songs could have been re-worked to intrigue listeners a bit more, as they sound a bit too plain. Also, some tracks include too many vocal parts and may feel over-saturated. Cien Soulwhore uses a distorted, ugly, and vile voice on the entire album. It sounds as if he turned into one of the human monsters-to-be to send a warning to the modern civilization, pointing out the issues threatening Earth and people. Explicit lyrics are not a rarity on this album. However, despite of such wake-up calls, the lyrics do not offer any solution, except for questioning authority or simply making a noose for yourself. In fact, Poland seems to be a fertile ground for establishing such a project - an artistic protest against organized religion with its bigotry and clearly financial directives, the misuse of which has also been supported by the current right-wing government.
Songs like 'The Earth Is Bleeding', 'Suck My Gun', and 'Dealer' show the band's expressive potential the best. Buy this album if you wish to get a taste of hopelessness, although a few songs on the tracklist may give a solid boost to industrial and electro dance-floors too.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, February 13th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

Read also: Interview with MSHAA (2016) here

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Buy on: Bandcamp | iTunes | Google Play

Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

01 February, 2016

Barefaced Liar - Mind Over Matter

Barefaced Liar - Mind Over Matter (song review) |self-released, Mind Over Matter, 2015| 5/5 pop/rock

The human brain when bombed with negative news and images every day becomes either over-sensitive or indifferent. The topic of 'Mind Over Matter' refers to the fear of unknown. This emotion often freezes the heart but kicks the brain into survival mode. The track encourages to face unidentified issues to discover their true colors and then make one's individual judgment instead of acting pre-maturely based on other people's superstitions. Music has been used as a successful method of therapy since the ancient Greek times and Barefaced Liar's 'Mind Over Matter' is a continuation of this tradition, thanks to its super positive melody and irresistible rhythm, aside of prompting lyrics.

The song begins with a neat and high tuned guitar, with a full blown rhythm section adding a groovy vibe to the opening arrangement soon afterwards. The majority of these arrangements is based on uplifting sounds brought by vocals and guitars. The lively sounds of bass, rhythm guitar, and drums bring forth a darker, heavier tune into the song's background, making for a neat contrast with the opening leitmotif. The composition is open yet controlled by arrangements, even though the sound spreads really wide when the chorus comes up. Akshay's voice is soothing and pleasant for the ear, but kept in a rock vibe. Vocals intersect with instrumental parts perfectly – they are fitted within the composition tightly to engage your attention until the very end. In addition, some arrangements are kept out of the stream to prioritize vocals at times, proving professional song-writing.

The Barefaced Liar duo undoubtedly have taken their lessons in pop music structures. Firstly, vocals finish in all the right spots, and there’s a fade-out effect used at the end of the track. Secondly, the opening and closing arrangements are the same which perfectly binds both ends of the track for looped replaying. Thirdly, choruses are full of prolonged 'oh-oh' which is an evergreen method for creating a non-intrusive mood and makes for memorable track as well. It'd be difficult to find anybody who could resist reacting spontaneously to such melody and performance when combined.
All of the above prove that 'Mind Over Matter' has a lot of well-knit hit potential for listeners of all ages, and doesn't sound boring after giving it a few more spins. Moreover, this all-embracing track should be a good match for all kinds of media opportunities ranging from ads to series.

The song was composed and performed by two friends since high school - Akshay Chowdhry and Sumant 'Bala' Balakrishnan - from Delhi, India who decided to try their musical skills in making modern rock music. They have released 3 albums since 2008 and their newest, Mind Over Matter, was mastered by Jens Bogren (Fascination Street, Sweden). He is a notable name in the industry, with credits on albums by Devin Townsend, Opeth, Marty Friedman, and many others.
Barefaced Liar sound like a good duo to Like on Facebook and their song will be the perfect addition to your mobile phone’s playlist, assuming you enjoy intelligent pop-rock tunes.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, January 29th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Buy on: iTunes | Amazon | Google Play

Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine