Review: RASH – MSAFIRI

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Follow the link below to listen to Msafiri:

This song was released on the eve of Halloween. I just came across it a few days ago and you can imagine my disappointment at not being among the first to hear of it. Rash have a bee in their bonnet and it seems that they are not about to let up anytime soon.
On announcing the intended release of their third single they teased its lyrical and thematic content by way of cover art. The cover art depicts a space satellite kind of the ones that circle the earth & an astronaut with grim features. And in truth the song is based off of an astronauts venture into the vast wilderness that is space.Heavy and the Beast will be talking to cover artist Al Mason Jr. later and get his perspective of what the cover art meant to him.
So where do I start! Oh yes. This is without a doubt a reanimation of classic heavy metal/traditional heavy metal if you like. This is a journey straight into the mid-70s. The bands style is so confounding. The cosmic setting the song is placed in tells of the distant lights of classic heavy metal long extinguished. Shining through the music done by rash are the long burned out rays of the Super Nova’s and Red Giants that were Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. They may consider themselves a hard rock band but it almost seems like they have with this piece adapted the vocal style of Angus Young and taken it to astronomical heights. The typical hard rock song influenced by AC/DC maintains the vocals to a sort of low melodic rasp. This piece however adopts a restrained wailing tone distantly resembling that of Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris.

The song ticks all the right boxes as far as compliance with the sonic rules of heavy metal are concerned. Except for the fact that in significant degrees the vocalisation is based on rhythm rather than melody. You have also the sheer power that Rash has systematically turned up since the release of their first single. The instruments play more closely to the vocals of the frontman and this is distinctly contrasted to their previous songs.
With this song Rash has also improved on skill with their guitars. Like the guitar gods of old they truly don’t disappoint. And as you would expect there are longer guitar solos that take the notes to wailing heights of ascendancy. Still on this point of compliance I believe the band has achieved that harmony which the genre demands of them. That the frontman and the lead guitar are a tag team. With the frontman pressing his notes, the lead guitarist as well rides alongside. Both mimicking each other’s prowess in one aspect or another. They compete without ever one outdoing the other. And the high pitches are reached at the same instant by both the lead guitar and the vocalist.
The musical arrangement at times plays out as laboured and disorderd. That is the only drawback that I can point to at present. The instrumentation in various degrees runs ahead of the singing. But these scattered moments of blemish are blotted out by sessions of pure magic.The band cleverly adopts a slower pace for prolonged periods for good measure. It takes that opportunity to narrate this sad story. Subsequently while the vocalist pauses, the rising guitar solos jolts the tempo. That has the effect of taking the tragedy and chaos of this sojourners’ predicament and playing with it. You could almost say the guitars take that moment to dance to the tune of tragedy.
In summation whatever this song means to you just remember that even in the remote and cold reaches of space there’ll be a hard-nosed kid making rock music. Rock on \m/

Click here to find out what Rash had to say about the song:

https://heavyandthebeast.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/interview-with-rash/

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