In a time
when musical talent is put aside in favor of fashion and rock star
poses, heavy metal awaits a return to the glory days of technical
proficiency and pure aggression that will knock it on its collective
Toronto based MASTERY are preparing to revive the glory days with
the release of Lethal Legacy, an album that pays tribute to the scene’s
metallic roots while forging a new path to lead the scene kicking and
screaming into the future, all without uttering a single word.
are the first instrumental Thrash band I know and they surely passed
with honours one of the most daring Metal experiments possible. Their
first album is a punch of pure aggressiveness, with a pair of
extraordinary guitarists, pumping bass lines and killing drums these
guys manage to create a pool of acid, corrosive to the bone and with a
heavy, blasting rhythm that shocks every neuron in your abused brain.
brainchild of guitarist Markus Armellini, MASTERY was created with a
desire to develop a band that fused the blazing aggression of hardcore
thrash with the technical prowess of progressive metal. The search for a
vocalist that could compliment the intensity and aggression of the music
proved to be a challenge...but not one that could hold the band back
from taking their music to the stage.
debut album, ‘Lethal Legacy’, was recently released through Sanctuary
Records in Europe and the album has been receiving major buzz within the
metal community with praise from Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles and Metal
Maniacs who said, “While Lethal Legacy pays homage to the classic
bay-area thrash of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s with bands like Testament,
Forbidden, Vio-lence and Metallica, it doesn’t sound as if the band are
pinning for the glory days.”
tracked down Mastery’s guitarist Markus Armellini to ask him some
questions about this excellent release, this is what he has tot say!!!
all, I’m not that familiar with your band, so can you tell us something
about Mastery, how did you get this band together?
started Mastery back in 2001 when I first got together with a singer and
wrote a few songs together, but it never took off outside the rehearsal
space. About 3 years ago I got together with Jeff, the lead guitarist,
he responded to an ad I’d put in the paper. We connected very quickly
with each other´s playing style and started working on some songs right
away. It took just about a year to find Kevan our drummer. And that was
pretty much the first official line up, still without a bass player
thing I´d like to know: why did you guys make an instrumental album,
couldn’t you wait for a singer?
Well how long can you wait (hehe)? And that was really what happened to
us. I mean, we tried several people out and none of them could really
cut it, so we found ourselves in the same spot all the time, ‘without a
point did you decide to record an instrumental album?
thought at first that we should put a demo together, so that we can give
it out to people and hopefully that way we could speed up the process of
finding a singer. But then all of a sudden we started to make these big
plans on how we’d record and stuff and so we knew that this would become
more than just a demo. Realistically we didn’t think too much about not
having a vocalist on the record, we were just excited to record and just
went ahead and did it.
have a record deal at that point? if not, was it difficult to get one,
if so what did the record company think about recording an instrumental
we didn’t have a record deal then or right now for that matter, we got a
distribution deal. We knew right away that the idea of an instrumental
thrash album would probably raise questions with record companies and so
we bypassed that step and went straight for distro.
still searching for a singer in the band, if so what type of singer are
you looking for
or do you
plan to stay instrumental?
This is a good question…we’re most definitely open to the idea of having
a singer in the band, but once again, it’s a question of getting the
right person for the job.
you launch into writing material for ‘Lethal Legacy’, did you have a
certain idea of what you wanted to do or where there any elements you
definitely wanted to have on the album?
We’re playing fairly fast music, so that was definitely my main focus,
to keep the speed and energy throughout the songs and the whole album.
Was it a
conscious decision to do it this way?
Absolutely. I wanted to make sure that there is no time to breath or
give anybody the chance to skip a song hehe….
already written any lyrics for the songs on your debut album, if so can
you tell me something about them?
lyrics were ever written for any of the songs. Of course with the
individual titles of the songs there are themes, stories that go with
them but so far nothing past the title.
album had already been released in 2006 in Canada (and the US) on
Spinerazor records I think, why did we have to wait so long in Europe?
This is our debut album and it took a bit longer than expected before we
were able to shift our focus on Europe. Sorry about that, won’t happen
the recording process proceed for ‘Lethal Legacy’, where did you record
this album and how much time did you spend in the studio?
had this crazy idea to record the drums in a Chapel at a wedding resort.
Kevan knew of that place and so we made arrangements to go there for a
week. It was actually pretty cool, it allowed us to have a lot more
freedom with the whole process but also a lot more work as we handled
the engineering side of things ourselves. The guitars and bass were
recorded at Fifth Dimension studios in Courtice, Ontario. Not a big
studio, but it got the job done. It took us several months to get it all
done. I guess we didn’t really have a deadline of some sort, so we took
our time with it.
received any feedback yet on the new album yet from Europe? How do you
feel about ‘Lethal Legacy’ – are you satisfied with the outcome or would
you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective?
haven’t heard too much yet but I should hope there’s lots to come hehe.
have any favorites on ‘Lethal Legacy’, songs that you think are somehow
above the others?
real favorites really…. ‘Numeration’ is maybe the one that stands out to
me the most just because the arranging on it turned out so cool.
are from Canada, was it hard to sell your style there as the music scene
there is dominated pop-music?
mean, we play metal, so we don’t deal with the mainstream crap anyway
but there’s an underground scene everywhere, no matter where you live.
you think about the metal scene in Canada, are there any good new bands
that we should know about?
scene here is pretty good actually, there’s tons of bands from Canada
that make headlines around the world. A lot of good metal here. Can’t
think of any particular new bands right now but you already know all the
big acts like Annihilator, Kataklysm etc.
launched into writing a new album yet? If so, can you tell us something
more about it. How does Mastery work when they create new songs and did
the instrumental thing
your writing style?
Yes, there is new material for the next album already and you can expect
a few surprises on it as well….. I can’t really say more at this point
in that regard otherwise it wouldn’t ‘be’ a surprise now would it hehe..
style has definitely changed to a degree where things get a bit more
complex but I can guarantee you it will be ‘fast and heavy’!!!
What about the future for Mastery, when can we expect
some shows in Holland and/or Europe?
finished a US tour not too long ago and plans for a European tour are in
the works but nothing concrete yet. Hopefully in the fall time we’ll
make it there.
some questions to enable our readers to get to know you a little better.
you get involved in the music business and what inspired you to play
When I first started playing guitar, once I had the basics down, I just
started with going faster and faster hehe….that and a good amount of
aggression and anger you’ll get to thrash!
songs and bands do you listen to these days?
a huge fan of the Bay-Area thrash bands. That’s definitely my main
influence. Exodus and Slayer is on my play list right now.
your opinion on the thrash scene these days, is there anything missing?
know, there’s a lot of great musicians out there….I’m just not so sure
about a lot of singers though….
album has been your biggest musical influence, one that made you think
“this is what I want to do!”?
There’s not one in particular but the early Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth
albums did it for me!
you could choose three bands to get on stage with, who would they be?
….hmmm, too many to choose from really, the 3 bands I just mentioned are
definitely on the list!!!
anything you’d still like to share with us?
Thanks for questions and hopefully we’ll see you in the fall time! You
can check out myspace page for updates, its
And thrash on!!!
Jeff Dormer - Lead / Rhythm Guitar
Anthony Ristovski - Bass
Kevan Roy - Drums
Markus Armellini - Rhythm Guitar
Lethal Legacy (2007)