Brisbane heavy outfit Massic decimated the eardrums of the nation with their 2018 debut album Redshift, a sweltering melting pot of hardcore and groove that was backed up by a ferociously addictive live show.
Then, as happened the world over, the band hit a stumbling block in the form of a virus that stopped the planet and Massic were forced to work behind closed doors to put together the second, eagerly awaited chapter.
Then, vocalist Simon Russell-White had a major health scare as well, which threatened to derail the Massic machine permanently, before the planets finally aligned and allowed the band the freedom to do what they do best.
Produce heavy, quality music that stands in a welcome league of its own.
After drip feeding new content with Assimilate, Surrender and Plummet Back To Earth, Massic are finally in sight of releasing their latest album Cognisant on May 13, with Russell-White and guitarist Chris Butler sitting down with HEAVY to chat about the album and the Herculean task in getting it ready for public consumption.
“From my end, I’m just stoked to be here and see it happening,” Simon smiled. “It’s been so long in the making, but at the same time, it’s a time capsule, so it’s great to have it finally coming out and have a date set. I’ve got nothing else but that (laughs).”
“It’s a relief, for sure,” Butler added. “The majority of this album was written prior to 2020 and had there not been COVID this would have been probably released towards the latter part of that year. It’s been sitting there, and we’ve been waiting and wanting and getting bumps, like every other band who has been trying to do the things that we do. It’s gonna be good to have it out so we can back it up and do some shows. That’s what we love.”
While Cognisant will undoubtedly appeal to existing fans of Massic, both band members admit that they should prepare themselves for growth across the board, resulting in Massic exploring new sonic territory.
“Musically, compared to the first album Redshift…,” Butler began. “When I was writing it – this is purely from a guitar, riff orientated and doing the drums and coming up with the ideas at home – I wanted things to progress a little bit more. I’m not talking… we’re not a prog band, we’re a hardcore band, but I wanted to throw in a little bit more. Just a little bit. And that involved a few songs that had more atmospherics and some more harmonised lead parts, which were also accompanied by some of Simon’s cleans. I just wanted it to be more of a progression from what we initially did with Redshift. Just to push ourselves. That’s what it’s about.”
“I think from Redshift to Cognisant the biggest thing is it’s a bit more broader scope,” Simon chimed in. “Overall, it’s a heavier album. (There’s also) Things like cleans and there’s some backing vocals as well from Rashid, and I think the overall conceptual idea is bigger. It’s a bigger album.”
In the full interview, Simon and Chris talk about Cognisant in greater detail, the path from inception to completion, the use of more clean vocals and how they fit in with Massic’s sound, the singles released so far and how they measure up sonically to the rest of the album, the album launch party at the Wooly Mammoth on May 13 and who else is playing, upcoming live shows and more.
Pre-order Cognisant in digital and VINYL formats now http://massic.bandcamp.com