The second album from Messa is upon us. Feast for Water is an exemplary collection of songs, showing exactly how to produce dark and evocative music. Forged from doom metal’s despondent wastes, and enriched with ambient, drone, jazz, progressive, experimental, and even some black metal elements, the album is a comprehensive journey into watery landscapes filled with rich meaning and emotive atmosphere.
I highly recommend this album for anyone into quality music. Let’s find out a little more about the band below…
Introduce us to Messa
Messa started in 2014, when Sara (voice) and Marco (bass) started developing a concept and some music for this project. Soon after, Alberto (guitar) and Rocco (drums) joined, and everything fully began. Some months later our first record ‘Belfry’ was born.
What are your influences?
We like to think that what we do is the subtle result of our sensibilities mixed together. For sure bands like The Devil’s Blood, Windhand, Urfaust, Jex Thoth affected our playing so far.
Name five things you’ve listened to recently that you’d recommend
Dool – Here Now, There Then
Maggot Heart – City Girls EP
Buio – Eternal Alchemy
Motorpsycho – The Tower
Hallas – Excerpts from a Future Past
Tell us about Feast for Water and some of the lyrical themes on the album
‘Feast for Water’ is our second record, and it was conceived as the subsequent part of the mass we began with ‘Belfry’, our first album. The tone, the sound and the picture we chose for the cover represent the many aspects of this fluid element. Water is a centrepiece in rituals and initiations of any kind.
The whole concept of this record is water, even though the lyrics are very personal. The lyrical themes of this work represent this content, sometimes in ‘hidden’ ways. You can convey very heartfelt and well-defined concepts through images and metaphors that apparently make the whole thing look hazy and hermetic.
There seems to be a slight increase in the black metal aspect of your sound on this release, would you say that’s true?
It’s true somehow, even though it’s a quite minor thing. The fact is that ‘Feast for Water’ has given us the chance to express ourselves as individuals, not only as a band. Each of us lives and feels things differently, and the increase of the black metal element was something we felt natural. It just happened.
How were the songs written?
The songs were written throughout several months in our rehearsal room. Marco or Alberto used to come up with some riffs and an embryonic structure. The second step was arranging and working all together in order to shape the songs and test if they worked or not. If the instruments worked well with each other, we’d move to the final part, where vocal lines and lyrics were added. We often clashed with each other’s opinion, and spoke openly about what we liked or disliked.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
To be honest, we don’t have a favourite song! We think that all the songs represent who we are, from the first to the last one. They’re the multifaceted parts of the same stone.
How did the recording process go?
We spent many hours in the studio. Recording-wise, it’s a ‘live’ album, because guitar, bass and drums were all done at the same time. We wanted to achieve a tone that could represent the whole concept of ‘Feast for Water’. In fact we tried to work on a more ‘submerged’ sound instead of sticking to the ‘classic’, wide-open fuzzy guitar sound of our first record ‘Belfry’. This, together with other mixing solutions, has been designed to give the listener the feeling of being underwater.
If you had to do it over again, would you change anything?
We wouldn’t change anything. We’re happy with the result.
What lessons have you learned from Feast of Water that you will take forward for your next recording?
We guess we’ll find out when we’ll record our next album! We learned how to deal with our limits and possibilities, and we’ve found a way to give our songs a narrative structure, which is something that we had only roughly sketched on our previous effort.
How would you compare Feast of Water to Belfry?
This new record was different since the very beginning. The structures in ‘Feast for Water’ are more thoughtful, less about improvisation. ‘Belfry’ featured some uneven arrangements. The work on the new record has proved to be more complex, as we wanted to be 100% satisfied with the songs while still leaving room for freedom of playing. We approached composition in a different and more experimental way.
How do you think Messa fits in with the global metal scene in 2018?
We don’t know, really. We just do what we want to, musically and artistically speaking.
Playing live – essential or pointless?
For us, as Messa, playing live is essential. We definitely enjoy it, it takes our bodies and spirits to places unknown. Ours is a choice, but every band should feel free to play live or refuse to! We love Darkthrone for example, a band that does not play live.
What will Messa be up to for the rest of the year?
After a break for composing and recording, we’re back playing live again. We’ll be on tour in May (with our friends Discomfort) and October throughout Europe, and we’ll play some festivals during the summer.
Any final words?
Thank you for your interest in our project!