With a rich, 50-year history dating all the way back to early Black Sabbath, it isn't easy to make doom sound fresh in 2021. That said, Messa found a way. The Italian band fronted by a vocalist who simply goes by Sara make a rich, dreamy and tastefully psychedelic variety of dirgy stoner-metal that flirts congenially with jazz, melodic rock and in the case of their new single, "Pilgrim," traditional Eastern music.
The seven-minute slow-burner, which we're proud to be premiering above via YouTube, is the first taste of their upcoming album, Close, their third LP overall and first on Finnish doom powerhouse Svart Records. The band's previous material can get pretty noisy and aggressive at times, but "Pilgrim" is an enchanting tune that uses a rustling guitar lick that unwinds yarn-like to reveal a girthy, molten doom interior.
It's a big-in, and its accompanying video features some tantalizing visuals that the band explain in fascinating detail below.
"'Pilgrim' is an important track for Messa," the band comments. "It was one of the first songs we composed for the album and we think it represents well the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean vibes we tried to convey with Close. The video was directed by Laura Sans, it was great to work with her again."
"The video was filmed across different locations in Southern France and Northern Italy," they continue. "The cave pictured in the second part of the video is the place where we recorded some parts of the album. We collaborated with an Algerian-descent choreographer and her crew to reproduce this ritual dance in the truest and most faithful way possible."
"We came in contact with this dance called Nakh because it's pictured on the cover photo we chose for our new album Close," they add. "Nakh is a ritual dance performed by women along the Algerian/Tunisian border. It features the swaying of the dancer's head and thrashing of the hair. When we discovered Nakh we immediately thought about the similarities that this dance has with headbanging. The video is centered on the similarities that these two distant worlds have in common. The connection that creates between them is unexpected but very spontaneous."
Close is out March 12th via Svart Records and pre-orders are live here. Peep the artwork below.