The end of 2015 was a delightful period, thanks in no small part to a new release by John Bassett. While he is most famous for KingBathmat, II is an album credited to his side project, Arcade Messiah, which definitely falls within the heavier spectrum of instrumental music, incorporating elements of post-metal and progressive rock.
The music itself feels darker and is shrouded in a heavier atmosphere than on the previous release, possibly thanks to the slightly slower pace of the songs. What we heard on the first album that is still present, if not refined, on II, is a range of fantastic riffs sure to please fans of post/progressive metal and other heavy-ish genres who truly love the melodic nature of music. The majority of the album is represented by four songs, each building up over 6 or more minutes of musical delight. Surprisingly though, my favourite song happens to be Fourth Quarter, a four-and-a-half-minute long composition which I replayed an unreasonable number of times. Perhaps because it manages to capture and quickly summarize the essence of Arcade Messiah’s music as heard by my ears, or simply because it’s an amazing song from an album which I gladly recommend.