MASSIVE SCAR ERA - 30 Years
Reviewer: Mohannad Saleh - 2016-08-23
Highlights: Despite my Will, 30 years
A concept, a word that is so simple, yet it’s very overlooked, and improperly overused.
A concept is a mainly an idea that isn’t that long mostly can fit in one sentence that later going to be transformed into a thing. At least this is what I think concept is.
The reason why am saying this, is because while many of us forgot to treat Music as art, where art always based on a concept, some still remember that simple word, Massive Scar Era remembered that simple word
In their new released EP, the group concept is built around as I believe being alive for 30 years with all its memories, struggle, the hard decisions to made and the emotions that goes along with it all, remember this paragraph as we will get back to it many times in this review.
Musically the Ep is challenging for the general taste, I wouldn’t expect that many to like it as it’s hard to understand, I truly believe that our best work "Can't" possibly appeal to the average masses, only our average work can.
Massive Scar Era weren't afraid to expand their musical elements as the song theme and not sticking to one sound, a thing that needs to be cleared out I think, is that having musical abilities and techniques doesn’t mean you are a great composer those are very two different things, sure the techniques help, but even if you were the best without composing skills and mindset you are only doing a very good different versions of covers.
I don’t usually do a track by track reviews but since most of our music scene are cheap bastards who wouldn’t buy albums, I thought of trying to help you know what you are missing and well this EP deserves it.
Remember that paragraph I asked you to remember it as we are going to keep referring to it in this review.... go ahead scroll back up and get back to me.
You see the Concept of the album as I said above is about being alive for 30 years, - Alive is the first track, 30 years is the 3rd the 2nd 4th tracks Despite My Will and The Fairest of All are basically the main two lessons or feelings you mostly feel after 30 years.
Am going to be honest here, am not sure if I get this 100%, but that’s the beauty of it we each see art as per its reflection in our lives, not the artists, that’s why many reviewers like to review musically, lyrically, but don’t get into too deep so they don’t make much mistakes.
I know, I know. Would you please start the review already!!... I do apologize I do over analysis things but it’s important for me in order to understand this EP that you be fully aware that an Album is like a book, a story and the songs are like the chapters each has its own story, yet they all fill the basic parts of the bigger story The Album, and well the album cover says it all, it clearly shows a strange creature with many different colors and shapes inside of him after a long journey in the forest with an angry determined eyes.
Track list as I stated before is as follows:
02- Despite My Will
03- 30 Years
04- The Fairest of All
First, let’s talk the songs arrangement, I found it strange that the album to start with a strong heavy song, but as I go along I realized that this album isn’t a cry for help, as much as it’s a statement, a very heavy strong statement.
With the start of the words “No it's not a walk in a park, what do you stand for? Serenade didn't heal you”
The lyrics sound sad but they are not it’s a strong advice to those who are weak, you may call it tough love, to be honest I think of it as a reproach a very tough one, that’s why its heavy, straight to the point for the start, fast and short. And being the first song makes perfect sense as this is usually how disputes starts.
That’s the first part of the song, the second part starts fast to help motivating the lyrics is a conversation between a person and himself trying to help himself to stay strong and fight back.,
“We're here, we're alive We're gonna stick around 'Cause we know what it takes To be Alive”
After the heavy start the album takes another approach a more alternative one if I may say, starting with a smooth comfy sound of the Bass followed by the interesting sound of the violin accompanied by the Guitars in the background. Despite My Will from the title it gives the feeling that this song is the 2nd part of the conversation from the first song, after getting accused to be the cause of this life, this person is trying to explain to himself that it wasn’t his choice and it was forced upon him. As for the song itself it talks about being alone, confused within your thoughts late at night or at those certain moments during the day
عقلي مش ثابت أفكاري مش مستقرة الوضع الحالي مريب حياتي مش سهلة “
Oh yeah its Arabic lyrics! Surprise, surprise, am not sure the reason behind using Arabic lyrics here but as much as we like to use English sometimes somethings we can only express in Arabic.
The song starts slow and calm then bit by bit it starts to get louder and louder, faster and faster, more voices starts to join in along, which gives you the feeling you have while you start thinking alone, it starts with one thought and ends up with trains of thoughts running on many overlapping tracks.
The song is a combination of loneliness, confusion and anger, the lyrical part above is usually the calm deep sound of the loneliness and confusion then it repeats again with more anger to end with the harsh vocals and anger of the lyrical part that says ماهو مستحيل تكون دي الحياه
The song is very interesting as it goes up and down, moving from grieving sounds to anger giving you the ultimate feeling of confusion, a great violin solo and some amazing drums tempos to make the bass sound even stronger and deeper.
The final part of the song is a confession to the self that it wasn’t a choice and life force itself on us, however trying to change reality by closing some paths isn’t running away but correcting the mistake of life.
Personally I think this song talks about the feeling of desire to immigrate and the confusion that comes with it, should I stay?! Or should I leave? Is this the life for me? Am I escaping? No!! am not, am fixing a mistake that was forced upon me.
ده مش هروب مش هروب ده تصحيح للمسار”
As Despite My Will talks about the current thoughts, 30 Years talks about the battle of the past thoughts, memories, and how in order to move forward you have to leave something behind, the song has a similar atmosphere as Despite my will but what’s interesting the harsh vocals parts as they are carefully picked which ones needs to be done in harsh vocals and which in clean as the fight between the two sides whether to be trapped in memories, or to find a way and get out
“Let’s hang around with 30 years of memories inside my mind. Let's talk about my road My dream my past my hopes I'll walk you around, I’ll walk you sober but I won’t take you too deep, (Harsh vocals: there’s always a way out There’s always a way out) you won’t be out whenever you will need (Harsh Vocals: you might get trapped inside).
Of course the following might be my favorite part in the whole EP the melody of “calling out one more time memories come to me I’ll throw you out one last time don’t want you back don’t want you”
The song contains a very strange comfy sadness and grief presented by the violin sounds throughout the song, kind of like acceptance of the fact of what’s going on to end up into one of the most heartbreaking violin solos accompanied by strong firm drums beats to end with a very seductive melody vocals work.
** And here is a very interesting trivia for you that has been pointed out for me from a friend. Both songs Despite My Will & 30 Years have cello, the violin solos are inspired by the Egyptian scales before 1932 Which is a very important date in the music history in 1932 a convention was held in cairo to put rules for middle eastern music and fix its intonation Only because they wanted to be able to play middle eastern scales with western music so they put rules Before that the sounding was different!!! Because every group would decide what their scale tuning without any reference.
Finally, we reached to The Fairest of All the 4th and final track of the EP, which is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle, as all the feelings that were discussed in the previous songs are caused by the fight of taking control of your own life from those who try to control it. Which is the government.
What’s interesting is that the song takes a different approach at a certain point where there is an Arabic poetry for the famous Arabic poet Al-Mutanbi, which he said when he felt that there was injustice from the government side towards him, and it was done perfectly in this song with some interesting backing vocals.
يا اعدل الناس الا في معاملتي فيك الخصام وانت الخصم والحكم اعيذها نظرات منك صادقة انت تحسب الشحم فيمن شحمه ورم
The song has its share of confusion as it has its own happy feeling sounds, sounds of victory but also there is the anger, and of course the sadness or disappointment that this battle had to be fought in the first place as governments should protect their people not cause them troubles and try to take over their lives.
So to sums it up, first the EP tells us how Life sucks but its ok because we know how to survive it as we have been 30 years Alive and we are still fighting and we are better at it now as we have experience. and in order to survive a person needs to face his current fears, thoughts or problems which bring us Despite My Will and how the person is trying to defend himself from himself and explaining things out from his point of view, and you can’t go through the current thoughts and fears without remembering the past, the 30 years’ combination of memories and dreams, ending up with knowing the cause of all it which is the desire to take control of your life from The Fairest of All, the government.
In conclusion dear Massive Scar Era thanks to you now I know how my 30s are going to feel like!