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Molten Lava Death Massage - Eye of Ra Review

by Mark Hensch

What do you get when you throw a group of Hong Kong youngsters, English language class, and Egyptian symbolism into a blender? The end result is an intriguing but still flawed act. Molten Lava Death Massage may have the best moniker this side of the Pacific Ocean, but after that, they are largely dependent on the actions of older, wiser, and more original bands. It wouldn't be right to say Eye of Ra isn't decent; rather, one sort of catches on a vibe that a multitude of other bands out there can do this style a million times more justice.

Hong Kong natives they may be, but it is apparent right off the bat that this young act aspires to walk in the hoofprints of the almighty Mastodon. So far, this is a pretty difficult task; as of now Mastodon are quite simply the strongest underground band in the world and right on the cusp of exploding into mainstream acceptance. The songs on Eye of Ra all have that buzzing, half-thrash vibe to him. Like Mastodon, Molten Lava Death Massage love to throw out psychedelic grooves that seem much faster than what they really are; yes, it is gnarly and killer, but this Hong Kong act simply lacks the pizzazz of innovation.

At a brisk thirty-three minutes, the band also relies on a surprising amount of filler. The meandering acoustic intro of "Death is Never Sated" could have been fleshed out more, as could some of the actual songs. When "Bayonet" kicks in, a listener can be forgiven for expecting more than the up-tempo amp worship and caustic howls that blare out of the speakers. Thankfully, the rest of the album is actually pretty tight and well-oiled once the chips are down; "Tecumseh and the Prophet" has an almost danceable din to it, and tracks like the ferocious "Nandeska" and the siege of "Axe of the Occult" inhabit a world of churning stoner-thrash hard rock. I can see the massive yet funky "Adam's Fieldtrip to Hell" appearing on Boris, the cult legends of Japan's mighty drone-metal scene, and the closing "The Eye of Ra" is a mini-epic full of all sorts of trance-inducing frolics through madness.

As often as they conjure up smoked-drenched vibes and hearty distortions, the band also sees them vanish in wisps of inconsequence. After spinning this several times a day for almost an entire week, I can't shake the feeling that this is an easy to forget album. Though some spots contain a brutal poignancy, this band is obviously just finding its sea-legs so to speak and isn't totally ready to leave shore. With this in mind, it is highly apparent Molten Lava Death Massage have potential to bloom into a real class act, especially in the increasingly solid Asian metal microcosm. Keep an Eye on this one.

1. Death is Never Sated
2. Bayonet
3. Adam's Fieldtrip to Hell
4. Nandeska
5. Tecumseh and the Prophet
6. Axe of the Occult
7. Bril in a Sarcophagus
8. Toast
9. The Eye of Ra

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Molten Lava Death Massage - Eye of Ra


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