Written by: The Administrator
If you, dear reader, have A. frequented our humble halls with some regularity, and B., have a remarkably keen memory, you may recall prior coverage/adoration of one Rick Massie.
Over the past few years, this one-man outfit from the wilds of the Yukon consistently presents a healthy blend of rock, prog, and metal, whether in the form of an ode to Halloween, a foreboding single, or across the breadth of an expansive album. Each Rick Massie moment features a very different sonic and aesthetic backdrop, but the intentionality and sheer quality remains consistent.
For further proof, look no further than today's track in question, a largely faithful cover of the mighty Opeth's "The Moor." It officially comes out on May 20th, but until then, you can listen to your heart's content at ye olde Sleeping Village. Check it out below! As always, we'll meet ye on the other side.
At just shy of 10 minutes, "The Moor" is epic by sheer benefit of length. However, echoing the original, Rick Massie successfully presents the track as a constant growth through levels of decreasing intensity. The familiar churning riff makes predicted appearances, driving the track along, but soaring choruses and the eventual softer back half serve to keep things balanced and complete, for lack of a better term. "The Moor" is a track seemingly built on de-evolution, at least in terms of aggression over time, and the template frankly fits like a glove when it comes to Rick Massie's willingness to play with songs that make significant and often unexpected changes across their runtime.
While the assorted instrumentation is of course up to the level we have only come to expect, playing out with a breezy precision and effortlessness, the varied vocal delivery is a strong suit. This is especially true given how distinctly harsh his vox appears in the verses--its a quality that seems, on paper, like it might fall outside of the Rick Massie wheelhouse. Rather than overpowering the instrumentation, the vocals stand slightly behind, supporting without needlessly forcing themselves into the limelight. The result is a nice sense of depth.
Says Rick Massie about this cover, and Opeth as an behemothian influence in general: "Opeth was one of the artists that opened my imagination to new musical worlds. They are likely the most important influence in my musical journey, having inspired me to branch out to other styles of music outside of metal. They opened my eyes to the world of prog, and to the many ways that clean vocals and clean guitars could be used in metal. I've been listening to their music since Morningrise, and it finally seemed like the right time to attempt a cover of one of my favorite songs of theirs. While it mostly sticks to the original song format (since it's hard to change much without changing the entire essence of the song), I hope you enjoy the embellishments and small changes I did make for this cover. Enjoy!"
Needless to say, this particular scribe has enjoyed in spades. If you like what yer hearing, snag the preorder for this track over at Rick Massie's bandcamp! Find it here.
Rick Massie - The Moor (Opeth Cover) will be released May 20th, 2022
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.