Mask Of Judas just released thier mini-album “Axis” on the tail end of April! Widely seen as one of the most interesting proposals of the UK underground metal scene, they now have a solid release to support them as they slowly emerge from the masses.
This Chichester band is interesting for a good number of reasons. First of all, the guitar riffage delivered by Sam Bell. He deserves to be recognized for his groovy, original and catchy creations. And second, the dark and deep vocals of the intriguing female singer Joe Challen. Together with the rest of the talented line up, this band was able to claim its own space in the UK’s underground metal scene through creating what we already defined as a “magnetic mix of Meshuggah and The Agonist”.
The EP is available for a “name-your-price” download on their Bandcamp so you can go give the entire thing a listen free of charge. I swear you won’t regret it.
The first track “Crown The Sun” immediately showcases all the power the band is able to bring with sharp, massive and aggressive riffs. There’s even some mathcore hints. This is followed by a sweet clean chorus with a lot of groovy effort. This track was actually already featured on “Prodigious” (a free compilation with 17 tracks from all of Incendia Management’s bands and more, check it out here!), so this wasn’t my first listen. But it’s definitely a great song and a solid way to start things off. On the other hand, I had never heard the second track “Endeavour”, which is introduced by another mighty assault followed by slow melodic segments. Once again, the riffs strike right on the border line between djent and modern mathcore. This all leads up to an epic ending.
“Axis” is next. This is the title track and the first single taken from the EP. It’s easily one of the most representative songs of the EP, functioning perfectly as a single. It mostly follows along the line of the previous tracks: a dark and
mighty assault in the first part followed by groovy melodic segments and a crazy third part leading to a theatrical ending. This is pretty much the recurrent formula of every song, but they’re really well done so it doesn’t take away from the experience. This formulaic approach also appears on the forth track “Ascension” but with a closer alternation of clean vocals and screams/growls. In this track you can detect more djenty influenced riffage with a remarkable Periphery vibe. In the last song “Should You Leave With Nothing”, the djent influence just gets heavier. It’s delivered through a powerful and ruthless assault with a hectic groove. Easily the heaviest track of the EP and a good way to close things out.
I’m sure Mask of Judas will really surprise the metal world someday. This is a very good EP which proves this band has a lot of potential, especially on the creative side of things. They have everything it takes to become one of the UK’s premiere metal bands in the future. So far, their music seems capable of exploding into something irresistible but it never quite gets to that point… yet. They just need to find the right “hook” / sound to put in their songs to reach that level and I’m sure it’s gonna happen sooner or later. You cannot escape the Mask of Judas.