Still playing catch-up from last year. French sludge mavens Barrabas had a full-length out this past November, which nearly passed by me. I'm going to assume that there are still some stragglers out there, so this one's for you. This album isn't quite what I was expecting. The way I remember it, their last album 'Libérez Barrabas!' was as a muddy punch in the teeth from a slope-browed opportunist. 'Messe Pour Un Chien' is a lean finesse fighter ... uhh ... punching you in the teeth. What I mean to say is, Barrabas is less the macho metal band here and more wizened heavy melodic rockers. Sure, you get your money's worth of snarl and growl, but the emphasis is on dynamic song craft. This isn't what I was expecting, but damn if it doesn't showcase an accomplished band enjoying themselves.