The Italian underground breakouts and cult favourites MESSA have just released their new single ‘Dark Horse’. Swirling, mesmerising, and dark, this song shows MESSA at their captivating best and is a snippet of everything to come from the band’s new albumClose (out March 11th via Svart Records). You can listen to ‘Dark Horse’ here

Messa’s upcoming album Close draws us further into spellbinding textures and immersive dynamics. Described as “Stevie Nicks fronting Black Sabbath,” singer Sara’s colossal voice omnipotently carries the listener on an emotional rollercoaster ride where the sonic cauldron of Iommi guitars gives way to Arabian oudh and progressive solos in a masterful style-clash that well befits Messa’s incendiary reputation.

Speaking about the song’s role within the upcoming album, the band comment: “Every song on Close has its precise time frame as the whole creative process lasted for almost one year and a half. ‘Dark Horse’ was the last song we created and it was completed literally just one week before entering the studio. It’s the most instinctual and visceral song of the album. Its sound is reminiscent of 80’s dark/post punk vibes like no other song in the record.”

They then add: “’Dark Horse’ is an English term often used to describe somebody who keeps their secrets well hidden: very little is known about them but they unexpectedly succeed in something. In ancient cultures, a black horse was the representation of intuitive nature, and symbolized human creatures in the dream realm. This song describes a precise moment of anxiety which is now trapped in the sands of time forevermore.”

‘Dark Horse’ follows ‘Pilgrim’, the band’s last single from Close, and its hypnotic, Meditteranean-meets-Middle-East inspired music video which you can watch here. Together, the songs serve to whet our appetites for Close, an album where song, experience, and atmosphere are focused into crystalline modus where high art flawlessly embraces good old-fashioned riff-worship. Transcending the occult and noir-tinted atmospheres of their past works, Close confidently weaves Messa’s multifarious influences into a singular breath-taking sound that leaves the listener enthralled. Perfection or something extremely close, Messa’s Close is not just a metal record, but it’s one of the best things to break out of the confines of metal in a long time.

Messa: Close LP/CD (pre-order link)