(RareNoise Records, 2016)
Bobby Previte's Mass is a very special sort of musical revelation, more of the immersive ritual than standard pop or rock album by far. Think Bill Ward toms meets jazz-schooled Gregorian/SunnO))) chant and drone meets Zappa and some moments of near desert rock ala Kyuss and you are getting close, but it doesn't quite cover this remarkable creation. A range of major musician's musicians from Stephen O'Malley to Marco Benevento to Jamie Saft contribute to this "modernist re-imagining of the choral epic Missa Sancti Jacobi by 15th-century composer Guillame Dufay." The idea for the album was over a decade in the making from respected drummer Previte.
With different players in varied time signatures, keys, and tempos all meant to work separately and line up at certain points, you would think it would be messy. But the result is near seamlessness. Anyone who finds this very-studied-yet-unconstrained masterpiece is sure to walk away from the record feeling inspired, lifted up out of their mundane day and contemplating the potential in great art. And on a certain level the experiment plain rocks as well. Pipe organ, electric fuzz bass, smarter metal guitar, and bold arrangements from these masters form a complex ceremony that works on many levels—blowing your mind by repeatedly tricking you into thinking it is simpler than you think it is. Mass deserves to be acclaimed far and wide as a worthy and unusual work of audacity.