EP Review: Messiah – Fatal Grotesque Symbols – Darken Universe (High Roller Records)

Messiah formed in 1984 and issued two truly ground breaking records on Chainsaw Murder Records. Hymn To Abramelin in 1986 and Extreme Cold Weather a year later. In the early 1990s Messiah signed to Karl Walterbach’s Noise Records label and issued three more full-length albums: Choir Of Horrors (1991), Rotten Perish (1992) and Underground (1994).

A few years back Messiah decided to reform in the original line-up of their Noise Records albums with Andy Kaina on vocals, Steve Karrer on drums, Patrick Hersche on bass and band founder Brögi on guitar. The band’s original aim was to just have some fun and play sporadic live gigs for their dedicated fan base in Switzerland. Lavish re-issues of Hymn To Abramelin and Extreme Cold Weather on High Roller Records followed.

Now, 26 years after the last studio album, Messiah are about to unleash the successor to their Underground’ record from 1994. The album is called ‘Fracmont’ and will be issued by High Roller Records in a short while.

To shorten the waiting time, there will be an EP containing three songs not to be found on the following album. The EP contains re-recorded versions of “Space Invaders” from the band’s 1986 debut album Hymn To Abramelin as well as the title track of the second album Extreme Cold Weather (from 1987).

The title track of the EP is called “Fatal Grotesque Symbols – Darken Universe”, of which main man and guitarist Brögi says:

The new song won’t be on the album. It does fit in very well with the re-recordings of the two old tunes.

Being unaware of Messiah’s past, there’s no comparison for me to make regarding their current sound and the re-recorded versions of the two classic tracks. Instead, my judgement comes solely from what I hear here and I like what I hear.

The new track, Fatal Grotesque Symbols – Darken Universe kicks proceedings off with angry sounding death/thrash. Messiah doing a grand job of keeping things heavy and focused all while spitting out the riffs and vomiting up a hyper guitar solo.

The two older tracks are great accompaniments to this and nothing sounds out of place which is testament to Messiah in 2020. A bit more methodical, the slower tempo that makes up part of Space Invaders is very invasive. Then, when they go for it, they really go for it. The speed up is sudden, wild and brief.

Ensuing there’s plenty of reason to be excited about the upcoming album, Extreme Cold Weather is the cherry on top. The howling wind leading to a whirlwind of head-banging noise.

Messiah – Fatal Grotesque Symbols – Darken Universe Full Track Listing:

1. Fatal Grotesque Symbols – Darken Universe
2. Space Invaders
3. Extreme Cold Weather


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Messiah - Fatal Grotesque Symbols - Darken Universe (High Roller Records)
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