****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Bobby Previte: Mass

The first thing you need to be reminded about an album that is given the Ringer of the Week award is that it sticks out above all the others that have been heard during that time. This album,if nothing else, sticks out. It’s up to you if you’re going to listen to fifty years from now, but it will get you thinking.

What composer and bandleader Bobby Previte has done here is take the Middle Age piece Missa Sancti Jacobi by Guillaume Dufay (1347-1474) and pipe organ music from the ideas of Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) and juxtapose them with a heavy metal group consisting of Stephen O’Malley, Mike Gamble-Don McGreevy-Jamie Saft/g, Marco Benevento/org, Reed Mathis/b while he p lays the drums. The Medieval vocals are provided by the11 member Rose Ensemble conducted by Jordan Sramek. Coalesced together, you get a respectful and reverential mix of sacred pieces like “Kyrie” and “Gloria” in voice with dramatic and relentless heavy metal rock that gives allegiance to both without a conflict of interests.

With rich pipe organ, there is bona fide praise in “Alleluia” along with hard hitting drums and exuberant voices, while the male and female voices in “Credo” are sublime in contrast to the rocking guitar climax. O’Malley and McGrevy bring guitar feedback as an addd feature and not a distraction from the male voices on “Sanctus” and there is no sense of irony as Mathis’ electric bass lilts along with the lovely vocals on “Agnus Dei.” At times, you feel like this is the dream of the old Deep Purple albums that tried but only came close to mixing the sacred with the rocking secular. This one is eternally focused,therefore making the contemporary sounds timeless. Give it a try, and wake up your church service!!!


Leave a Reply