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Priestess “Hello Master” Review

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , , .

Priestess’s release of Hello Master comes at a time in which blossoming metal revivalists are not simply becoming fashionable, but are sparking dialogue questioning which generation was better. Generation Budgie says it’s better, but Generation Priestess at a stronger, more determined level that some of the genre’s figureheads could only dream of reaching.

Voted Montréal’s heaviest band, and having toured with the likes of rock-gods Motörhead do a lot to help a band feel for position in the growing, ever-complicated rock scene. But as past generations prove, bands in the hard rock scene often draw too close a resemblance to each other from mass media. Following that theme, Priestess is The Sword’s sexy cousin. Priestess is slightly more melodic than Wolfmother. The band plays a broader, less hazy sound than the growing number of reemerging bands under the stoner rock label. Within the songs there is far more dialogue between the vocals, the guitar and the rhythm section. Priestess seem to express rawer emotions. The band is simply more.

Following the timeless rock theme, Priestess’ songs revolve around a mysterious object of affection throughout Hello Master. Two of the strongest tracks on the album, “Talk to Her” and “Lay Down” reflect on a thought as to why it is so important that women be at the center of the male dominated rock scene; if they didn’t exist, men simply wouldn’t have anything to write songs about. Where the guitars aren’t talking, the lyrics explain why it’s important to give respect where it’s deserved and what the consequences are if that doesn’t happen.

Ironic, but “Performance” is the weakest track on the album, offering slightly off-key riffs and vocals. That being the case, the lyrics still reflect a reassuring tone of self-measurement, which stands as the final card which shows Priestess to be an uncontainable, multifaceted rock n’ roll machine. In the same interview in which Priestess was announced as Montréal’s heaviest band, singer/guitarist Mikey Heppner reflects on Voivod and Cryptopsy and continues by reflecting on the scene, “Man, that’s a travesty. When people hear “Run Home” on CHOM and think that is the heaviest thing in Montréal, they’re pretty fucked.” But I believe that Heppner is mistaken as to what the title means, and what his band’s album means to its fans.

Priestess reflects an organic metal, a type which allows listeners to reflect and reminisce in their pasts and past musical experiences. What Heppner is true, Priestess isn’t the heaviest band in Montréal, nor are they the fastest, or the boldest. But what is reflected in the band’s music is a standard that represents many decades worth of history and evolution; and that is heavy.