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Album review: Mish – Entheogen

 

Album review: Mish – Entheogen

Review by Craig Grant. Ok, let’s get the obvious question out of the way. An Entheogen is a, ‘psychoactive substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual contexts’. Funny then that when I hear the phrase ‘Mish’ it takes me back to the days leaving gigs after a ‘few’ beers and going on a Mish (a mission) which normally implied getting home but having no memory of how you did it.

This Mish are a five piece, Australian progressive rock band from Sydney. It’s been a long time coming but Entheogen is the second album and it manages to be crushing, absorbing and gentle. At just over thirty-seven minutes in length it’s also gone in a heartbeat. So between the first release and this one there is a year of experience for about every six minutes of this recording. So it better be good, right.

Well, that’s the easy part. This is a cracking release by Mish and it somehow pulls you in close with some breathless melody that lulls you into a false sense of security before beating you senseless with pounding vocals. This is a release of depth and of polish. It’s also a recording that you just can’t dive into and get the best from it. It’s best to drop the digital needle and let it go all the way through to the label. Just treat this album as a single, one listen, all the way through and don’t cut corners. Put it on again, start from the beginning.

Artax Master is the opening track which is like being on a climb. It’s all easy at the start, fresh and hopeful. As it builds it gets harder, heavier and the vocals feel compressed, screaming at you from some far off place. It’s a murderous start, but tuneful; this is no thrash fest. We slide into Red Fortune and it’s a natural progression, probably more intricate, and I can here little snippets of my beloved Gojira. Layer upon layer this thing builds but never reveals itself all in one hit but seems to stalk you. The drumming on this track is immense. The double kick is artillery but the cymbals are crystal clear and right where they should be in the mix. This is a mind-blowing track. Well mixed, beautifully played and has more innovative ideas than you can count.

Smart thing on this album is that the band has introduced a number of short tracks that are like little intermissions to cleanse the palate before the next serving. The third track Enth isn’t musical at all but sounds like my neighbour taking out the recycling. It does the trick though and sets you up for the next track. Later on we have Socrates while is just over three minutes but is like a mini-mix of many elements that Mish are all about and one to play to your mates to get the gist of what is going on here. Then of course Floating Sky which shows that this band have both the talent and the depth in equal parts.

I really believe that going through this album track by track is spoilers. All I can say again is give it a go as a complete listen. If you can’t then give Red Fortune a go or better still, Piniata, which has the YYZ chug at the start and as a leitmotif through the track. It’s a belter.

Six years in the making it doesn’t seem like to much effort to give Mish – Entheogen a go and listen to one of the most progressive sounds out of Australia.

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