MASSA NERA - will it be enough for you to keep going? Review

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I am pleased to introduce you to New Jersey’s Massa Nera and their first EP, will it be good enough for you to keep going? 

Released in April of 2016, this EP absolutely kills!

This quintet, which includes Allen Nunez (Guitar), Christopher Rodriguez (Guitar), David Moncada (Bass), Mark Boulanger (Drums), and Jhon Rodriguez (Vocals) brings a hardcore attitude with a melodic aftertaste to each of the tracks on this record. Providing a nice balance of punk grit and metal attitude, this album is really solid with a great lyrics to support the powerful instrumentals. 

“Hatsukoi,” the first track, came right in your face with an aggressive sound and pounding rhythm. Meaning first love in Japanese, "Hatsukoi" was an interesting title for this track of self-reflection and depression. The gut-wrenching vocals give the melancholy lyrics life and emotion. The lyrics also tell of a story between two lovers: the vocalist or speaker feeling isolated from their significant other and not feeling loved. The change in language from English to Spanish was refreshing as well. It’s nice to show a group’s cultural diversity in their work.

The instrumentals also keep a great chaotic tempo of pushing rhythm with a nice melodic bridge. Overall, This was a great first track. 

“Hatsuyuki,” meaning first snow in Japanese, was a nice simmer down in this metaphorical pan of an album. This song really showcases the strength and talent of the group instrumentally. Keeping tight catchy riffs with with a nice percussion and bass to keep the pit going. This was a nice bridge between the first and last track. These lyrics are another nice mix of English and Spanish where the tempo changes with the language. The dark words in this track speak of a lost mind on the brink of a breakdown, where they feel like their life does not matter, as if they would not be missed if they were gone. 

Finally, “Hikikomori” is a nice brief punk-y track to finish the EP. This existential song gives a feeling of hopelessness that match the instrumentals. All emotions are invalid and your life does not matter, so it seems. "Hikikomori" translates to someone who is a recluse and keeps to themselves. It is the tale of someone who gave out too much love and never received any in return. Who hurt you Massa Nera? This is my favorite track on the album and it was easy to identify and get into. The outro is an aggressive way to show the emotion involved with the whole album, and I really enjoyed listening to this track.

Like any EP should, each song had its own story, its own emotional drive and rhythm. Providing a diverse cultural journey where emotions are felt by everyone. I hope to see more great work from these guys in the future.

I give this record an 8/10.

I hope you all give this EP a try and I hope it invoked the same feelings I did. Links to the Bandcamp and Facebook are below! 

MASSA NERA: Facebook // Bandcamp