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Review of the Album "Feast At the Forbidden Tree" by Boston Area Thrash Metal Band Black Mass

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

A tree in the middle of a grassy field in Germany.

A tree in the middle of a grassy field in Germany.

Boston's Black Mass Shows That 1980s Style Thrash Metal Still Exists With Their 3rd Studio Album

Boston area thrash metal band Black Mass released their 3rd studio album Feast at the Forbidden Tree in 2021 and they are a group of guys that have not only embraced thrash metal’s past but they have chosen to continue in that tradition of honoring the greatness of the genre. As a person that used to be really critical of modern American metal bands (roughly the period covering 2004 until the present time), there are instances where a modern American metal band has the capability to create a finished product that is more than just pleasing or satisfactory to the ears and Feast At the Forbidden Tree is one such example.

The Style of Black Mass's Third Studio Album

The album is very much like Paul Baloff era Exodus while maintaining that modern feel to it. Yes, the album can and does sound like something that might as well have been recorded back in 1985 only with better production. It is almost like you took a time machine and landed back in the year 1985 but this is a 2021 studio album. There is also an instance that a song in the album sounds like 1980s Mercyful Fate following that bellowing, loud scream. An example of this is the song “They Speak in Tongues.” Lyrically, the song is about witches casting spells and demons having a profound negative effect on the people that they surround. It is not out of the realm of possibility that these guys may indeed have been influenced by Mercyful Fate. Sometimes the style of the vocals lets us know that they definitely have a black metal feel to them. This album is an example that 1980s style metal certainly isn’t dead. It has just evolved over time and other newer bands have decided to honor the legacy of that time period and hence, we have Black Mass being another shining moment in the history of US thrash metal. The bass guitar play is clear and can be heard so that’s always a bonus. This 7th track has a section in it that also sounds very much like the band Slayer thus even further solidifying that 1980s influence that Black Mass has.

In Spite of the Way The Album Begins It Is Better Overall Than You Might Think

But from the way in which this album begins, you wouldn’t think that this album would necessarily amount to much because what we have is an “Intro” song that starts this one off and it is atmospheric in a way so it is difficult to describe this song other than saying that. The second half of this track however speeds up and now we have the beginning of the thrash part of the album. “Unholy Libations” in terms of the style and structure should remind you of the song “Bonded by Blood” which also came out in 1985 so Black Mass is really showing that they are in fact influenced by Exodus even if they didn’t admit it.

"A Path Beyond"

Bottom Line About This Album

It is kind of cheesy that so many bands start off an album with an intro kind of track or song because it is one of those things that has been massively overdone but that may be a minor detail for an album that is well written such as this one.

"Betrayal"

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© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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