With more and more bands turning to experimental styles of songwriting it’s not too surprising that genres including mathcore and progressive metal are gaining more prevalence in the metal world. Instrumental math-prog-metal trio Masiro incorporate many different genres, everything from metal to jazz, in their new release Geodesics. The Oxford band released their first EP Technocologist Unknown in 2016 and have been experimenting with more ambitious sounds that are clearly displayed on Geodesics.
Andromeda Handshake opens the EP with dissonance, drama and heavy drumming. The high-pitched clashing notes and fast drums create a high energy introduction to the track and produce an eerie atmosphere. This is developed further by the lead guitar melody in the verse. Sections of clean guitar motifs surrounded by staccato notes that create dissonance enhances the contrast and the effect of the uncomfortable sounds. The use of contrasts in this track is similar to that of The Faceless’s album, In Becoming A Ghost. Masiro show their abilities with the heavier genres in this track and go on to develop styles with jazz influences and sound experimentation throughout the EP.
Track two, K-Ursa, features jazz influences displayed primarily through the saxophone melody performed by Charlie Cruickshank. The non-standard time signature and heavy distortion blend together to create a track that maintains a smooth sound whilst also diving into experimentation. This merging of mathcore, metal and jazz is executed effectively to produce a full, dramatic sound that is actually fairly easy to listen to. End Permian also sees jazz influences in the form of chord sequences and rhythms. The non-standard time signature with bass riff develops the jazz influences into a style suited to the Masiro. The heavier tones added into the track give the style a very different feel whilst encompassing the different influences into a sound that remains cohesive.
Track four, Intermission; Graveyard Orbit, is incredibly atmospheric and shows the effects that can be created through using instruments in unconventional ways. The title of the track perfectly sumarises the nature of the sounds and images they construct. The use of synths, uncomfortable high-pitched notes and bass notes simulates sounds associated with spacecraft. Lee Riley also supplied drone material for this track which enhances the layers of sound. The nature of the track is disturbing; uncomfortable, futuristic sounds form this atmospheric piece. Mathcore and progressive metal allow for the freedom to explore all manner sounds and styles that would feel out of place in other genres.
Masiro draw together influences from other genres and experiment with sound to produce tracks of great interest. The diversity displayed across Geodesics shows Masiro’s understanding of so many different genres and their ability to bring them together and create cohesion. With such an astounding second release from the trio it will be fascinating to see how they progress.
For fans of: Arch Echo, The Faceless, Rolo Tomassi
Words by Holly Royle
‘Geodesics’ by Masiro is released on 7th September.