We also have some Middle Eastern and European influences, because of course, we come from abroad – Lizza from Israel, me from Switzerland. There’s also a little bit of a pop/rock – I love Abba, AC/DC, Prince – as well as a tribal, spiritual element going on. It’s a mix of several things; pretty cool and different, that came very easily to us since Lizza and I experience such a songwriting chemistry.” Indeed, the strength of these songs comes not only from Lizza’s acrobatic, hugely varied, often terror-inducing vocals, but also the intellectual heft and the tensile quality of the guitar riffs. Comments Val, “I'm the lead guitar player, which is still pretty rare in this metal world, that you have a female, basically playing lead.
So it makes things pretty flashy.” The combination of Lizza and Val – along with the services of prog metal drumming legend John Macaluso and bassist Will Valentine– makes for an intensely exotic and mentally challenging listening experience. Add the programming of Cedric “C-Drike” Aegerter, and you’ve got a dizzying display of sonic layering that makes these tracks spring to life. Wake Up has one of the most powerful, passionate, hook-drenched choruses to hit alternative metal in years, while both Think Of The Day and lead single and opener I Ache hit like a ten-ton sledge. “Well, I thought these songs in particular were the most well-achieved as far as songwriting goes,” comments Glauser. We also have more “atmosphere” oriented songs like Monkeys and Shout your way out that show the more exotic and tribal side of the band”.
“All these songs really present what the vibe of Masterlast is, there is energy, there is the electronics, the songwriting is great… I love it.” Ah yes, the electronics – this is perhaps the hidden weapon of the band, given that Cedric has unlocked some sort of magical kingdom, especially when working with the drum-mad world music element of the band brought by its globe-trotting leaders. A sort of technicolor pastiche is achieved, one that combines the earthiness of Sepultura’s Roots with introspective moments from Nine Inch Nails, incidentally a favorite of Cedric’s. Laughs Glauser, “Cedric's universe, his sonic universe, is really tribal and pretty strange, and he really complements the music very well. His vibe lends the record extra complexity.” The title of the album goes in the same direction as the band name, basically - a new agey, philosophical, esoteric kind of direction, with respect to learning how to master your demons.
The name could have many different levels of significance. Visually, we have a circle symbol, which denotes completeness; it's a very positive simple, very feminine as well, because the band is fronted by two women, who are very energetic and charismatic on stage. And this is a big marketing point I guess (laughs).” Marketing points become unnecessary once one delves into and gets lost within this strident feast for the ears. A headphone album in the extreme and for the extreme, Mastery Of Self is sure to floor discerning fans of bands such as Opeth, Agalloch, Katatonia, Disturbed, System of a Down and even Otep. Read more on Last.fm.
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