Montreal’s Messora just released their debut album called ‘The Door’, an intriguing experience that relies on classic trash and death metal riffs with progressive influences. Think of it as Slayer’s riffs meet Pink Floyd’s creativity with Lamb of God’s vocals. At its heart, Messora is singer and guitarist Zach Dean’s musical project, who formed the band in 2016 as a solo project. He wrote all the lyrics and also composed the entire album. This gives the songs some unity in the chaos. ‘The Door’ is also a concept album based on the story of someone who’s had enough of this world and tries to escape it. The dense subject offers multiple moods for the musician to explore and Zach Dean does not skim on any of them. ‘The Door’ is as much of an exploration of the human mind and the barriers we put around on it, as it is a push against musical boundaries.
The album starts out strong with the song ‘The Door’, a total banger that turned all my friends into fans of the band. The riffs are insane and you know you are in for something special. The screaming vocals are also very good and the production is clear without dulling the edge the brutality inherent in that type of music. On the opposite end of the spectrum, ‘Untethered’ features acoustic guitar and spoken vocals and offers a completely different ambiance. The music really makes you feel like you are trapped with this unhappy person, and keep spiralling down this hole he can’t seem to escape. You feel the journey as you listen to the album, and each song is just another step towards the ultimate escape.
Technically speaking, the album is impressive. The unusual song structures and the fact that you can never guess what’s hidden behind the next breakdown makes ‘The Door’ an album challenging to dissect and analyze. With four songs that last more than 6 minutes, Zach Dean uses all the tricks he knows to throw the listener off guards. The chorus of ‘The Falling Star’ is quite catchy even in all its aggressiveness, and the solo that follows it is very good. Zach doesn’t go overboard with speed or technical prowess either: he lets the solo breath and creates an anthemic dual guitar section that wouldn’t be out of place on an Iron Maiden or Judas Priest album.
‘The Pond’ is darker and straight out death metal. The song hits hard and never lets you breathe for a second. The album also feels very cinematographic. The ideas all feel bigger than life and they all seem to be supported by strong imagery. My favourite track, called ‘The Veil’, is the perfect example, and at nine minutes and forty seconds, there is not one dull moment. It creates the feeling that even in all this darkness there is some hope on the horizon but only if you can make it out alive.
If you are a progressive music fan or a fan of metal in general, you need to give ‘The Door’ a chance. It’s challenging, haunting and complex. I don’t have a single complain about the album and it’s very hard to believe that this is their first LP. Bands normally chase this perfection for years before achieving it. If they continue on this path there is nothing stopping Messora from joining the greats.
Released October 4, 2019
All music and words by Zach Dean
Recorded at Silver Wing Studios
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Jonathan Lefrançois-Leduc
Produced by Zach Dean and Jonathan Lefrançois-Leduc
For this record Messora is:
Zach Dean: Guitars and Vocals
Joey Larivière: Drums
Ben Bertrand: Bass
James Cabral: Lead guitar on The Veil and The Pond
Guest vocals on The Veil and The Tide by Bruna Wanderley
Spoken word on Untethered by Maya Charest