Take a dash of Tool and a sprig of Oceansize. Place in a mortar bowl then grind with the blunt end of an Amplifier until ready. Serve. For those unfamiliar, this is the recipe for the debut album from Leeds four-piece Master & The Mule. Dark, atmospheric and every bit as challenging as the band surely intended at its genesis, The View From Nowhere is as thrilling as it is menacing.
The mathematic grind of Fing will be familiar turf to progressive fans, but a segue into Exchange Expression finds the band at the door of Massive Attack’s dark ambient opus Mezzanine, albeit with teeth bared. Bass parts that echo the Deftones at their most groove-oriented clash with a doomy atmosphere and powerful, melodic vocals.
It’s easy to squint and imagine this is a new Steven Wilson collaboration, such is the quality and apparent affinity of purpose. That’s not to say that Master And The Mule aren’t any more than the sum of their influences. Towards the end of the album they truly find their voice on Mekanum and Rudey Montgomery, a brace of stunningly kinetic, cinematic compositions.
If you’re a fan of modern progressive rock you can’t afford to miss this record.