#FOR FANS OF: Thrash/Groove Metal, Testament
Mason from Melbourne, Australia is exactly what I would describe as modern thrash. Through a mix of the expected big crunchy guitars, ripping riffs reminiscent of major thrash mainstays, and embracing more of the modern groove style popularized by the 2000s American metalcore scene, this band absolutely captures the energy and ethos of thrash metal while balancing its aggressive and nuanced approaches that give headbangers plenty to think about while wrecking their necks.
Playing to a chorus reminiscent of Testament's “Over the Wall”, the opening riff of “Burn” starts you off on the short fuse of the '80s thrash and dash style before giving way to a long series of solos in its second progression. This movement from restless tearing guitars into a lumbering metal behemoth's groove shows a versatility that harnesses the texture of its more modernized approach while still shredding into the meat of oldschool thrash metal malice as it wraps you in the harmonic helix created by noodly classical notes.
This album shows a sophisticated evolution of its thrash elements into metalcore and groove movements throughout complementary songs that, without compromising intensity, push past the primitive plateaus found in the seminal works of one of heavy metal's most aggressive and vibrant eras. The album cover expands on the content's vivid and lively sound with a blend of impressive colors washing a swath of impressionism across the canvas as the muted mixture captures a moment of a hulking beast of burden bearing severed heads, sloshing skull-fulls water along a dangerous path. Like the band plays on the knife's edge between the modern metal style and the classic thrash conventions, the horse is spurred on by youth towards the brink of brutality before bucking back against that notion lest it lose its direction.
Throughout 'Impervious' there is a lot of rolling from a very robust drum kit that accentuates energetic guitars swirling spirals of chaos, loosening up a neck to spin throughout “Tears of Tragedy” as treble rises into the most utterly glorious soloing section in these thirty-six minutes. “Cross this Path” takes the role of your traditional '80s style thrash offering with the saw of guitars swinging across the top of the rhythms before expanding into an almost Gothenberg scope of harmonies with the fun energy of All That Remains engulfing the listener in a twist of treble that is as beautiful as its extending tendrils are deadly. Alongside the aggression of the blasting opening to “The Afterlife”, and the Skeletonwitch sort of anthemic sound with a Slayer vocal delivery to “Sacrificed”, these songs create a quality core composite of strong b-side singles while the title track takes center stage. Running around its melodic main riff well through its chorus, this title track experiments with a more mobile groove and a 21st Century American metalcore sound that has me thinking of a more mechanical and harder hitting The Autumn Offering. Bits of All that Remains in the song with that metalcore style of anthemic and harmoniously uplifting tenacity reach out to caress your inner headbanger and show a strong spirited songwriting strength as Mason hammers home its prestige piece.
Throughout 'Impervious' is a consistently quality delivery that shows the aptitude of this modern thrash troupe in fashioning a sturdy bridge between the old and the new, between headbanging aggression and gorgeous soloing, and between crunchy groove and compelling metalcore. Mason is truly a force to be reckoned with as it keeps the fires of thrash alive with bellows from the bowls of hell.