John Bassett is a very busy man when it comes to his work with Kingbathmat and his debut solo album released this year. And now he’s back with a new project called, Arcade Messiah. The album has a darker, ominous, and sinister sounding from his melodic atmosphere on Unearth. There are elements of Post-Rock, Metal, and Doom-Prog at times to go into the nightmarish world on what was once the happiest place turns into a terrifying city of hell with no plans of escaping and Bassett himself has taken it to a mind-blowing level.
On the opening track, Sun Exile, it has this wonderful touch of Bassett’s tribute to Mogwai with a steadfast beat with the eruptive riff and rhythm of the guitar and drums going at 600 miles per hour. Like a speeding train going into that distance, it is like an intense marathon and you don’t know when you are going to stop until the train comes to a relaxing mode for the Bass to come in as it lets the person calm down a bit and then back into the position for that sonic energy blast like a firing weapon rapidly to close it off with a perfect way to start things off.
Your Best Line of Defence is Obscurity in which it almost sounds like a title that George Orwell could have used when he was writing 1984, it has a relaxing vibe that the instruments bring into before the rhythm guitar and drums come in like an explosion waiting to happen at the right moment between the riffs, atmosphere, and the unexpected snare drums going “Bam! Bam!” like a stop-and-go moment between the two instruments. Now on Traumascope, its back into the darker and deeper elements of rock between some minor-like melodies with a chugging section of guitar and bass and its just amazing on the ominous intensity while Aftermath sees Arcade Messiah go into the experimental electronic vibes with an homage to the French duo Air as if they had work together and recorded the score for The Virgin Suicides.
Everybody Eating Everybody Else begins with a spacey ambient/atmospheric vibe with Bassett’s homage to the Frippertronics before the delirium madness comes banging in with the instruments knocking the doors down for the zombies to rein terror into the town. The driven beats between the instruments along with a leading riff really captures the dystopian vibes coming at you as if there is a slight chance of hope to survive, but getting out is the next hardest and difficult decision you have to decide if you are risking to make that choice.
The Most Popular Form of Escape has a touch of the doom metal and space rock sounds of reminiscent of Purson, Black Sabbath, and Hawkwind as if the rocketship is set the jump of light speed to go into another voyage for John Bassett to take controls and set the controls for another planet into another infinite world as the closing track, Roman Resolution gives it a chance for a calmer yet rising semitone beat to enjoy the ride.
It is a lukewarm yet gentle introduction for the first two minutes and fifty-seven seconds of the piece before the machine is revved up for another adventure. And at times, I can imagine Bassett himself writing a score for like this for the Halo franchise and then it goes back into the moody pieces before it heads into the Crimson elements in there and a dosage of the Metal sounds thrown in there for the last 3-minutes of the piece meaning that he is leaving us on a cliffhanger to find out what happens next.
Arcade Messiah is a mind-blowing experience from the beginning right into the middle and in the very end, you have to give John Bassett a huge pat on the back for a job well done on what he has done with the Metal project. I can’t wait to see and hear what he does next with his solo work, Kingbathmat, and Arcade Messiah. It is a terrifying, beautiful, and an amazing adventure into that utopian world gone wrong and its almost the score and movie inside your head.