Massivivid: The Most Obscure Gem of the Christian Music Scene

Ok, so the fact I was able to even buy the domain for ~$10 is a very sad thing. It means the band I loved so much and grew up listening to on repeat is so niche and tragically under-appreciated that it’s almost unsearchable these days. {insert melodramatic emoticon here}.

Massivivid represents to me everything that was good and excellent about Christian music in the 1990s. Not only Christian music, but honestly ANY music that came out in the 90s or early 2000s!

Feel free to disagree with me at your own peril (please use the comments below). But the 90s were the era of the GREATS in Christian music: Jars of Clay, DC Talk, Newsboys, Third Day, Audio Adrenaline, Deliriou5, PFR. They put good Christian music on the map. Then came the real outliers and niche music: Project86, Five Iron Frenzy, Grits, Pax217, POD, Guardian, World Wide Message Tribe, Supertones, etc. This was the music your parents at the time (if they were like mine) had to snatch the album booklets away from you and read the lyrics for themselves because they were convinced you had pulled one over on them–for how could good, loud music that actually appealed to our senses be Christian music??

But the jewel on the top of the entire scene–that transcended all other music of its generation–came from an extremely little-known band of misfits who called themselves Massivivid.

In 1999 Massivivid put out an album that, for me and many others “in the know,” could not be topped. It mass-brightblurstood alone. To this day it STILL stands alone: Brightblur. The music is vibrant and edgy; it was a hard genre at the time to define, as few (certainly none in the Christian circles) had ever attempted it before. Industrial and/or Electronic sums it up the best, but the melodies also exhibit strong elements of hard rock, techno, grunge, all interwoven with incredible, intricate guitar work and powerful synths.

Some have (quite incorrectly) mislabeled the band as trying to be an imitation of NiN’s sound. But, to me, this assessment lacks depth or any critical thinking, as the music exhibited in Brightblur is not only lyrically leaps-and-bounds above the often vapid NiN lyrics of the same time period, but also the synths are more pronounced, the rhythms are more clean, and the end-to-end product is more rich and soulful. Subjective? Certainly. But since you’re on a Massivivid website right now I imagine you agree with me. Feel free to comment below…

I concur completely with the way Scott Beeson summed up his review on the album’s Amazon page:

I like lots of Christian music that nobody has ever heard of, but Massivivid has to be my favorite. This first album, Brightblur, has it all. The lyrics are outstanding. They’re not watered down, they say what needs to be said. Musically, this album is amazing. The first songs get crammed in your head until you forget everything else exists. This first set of songs climaxes with an emotionally ravenging tune called Epitome, moves on through to the tongue-twisting Crop Circles then [segues] out to the next set with the odd, screaming Deep Heaven. Now we have arrived at tracks 10, 11 and 12 and it is just unbelievable the way the three songs build and build and build. They are the pinnacle of rock ballads; mellow yet startling. I cannot even describe the emotion and physical compulsion these songs bring. From there, it lightens up and finishes off with a couple remixes and even some downright hilarious studio blurbs. – Scott Beeson

In my opinion: 20 years later their music still holds up. It is truly a shame they didn’t produce more. I am convinced if they didn’t have the word “Christian” in their genre and if they had been blessed with just a modicum of radio airtime, they’d be millionaires like Trent Reznor and might still be producing music today. As it stands, of their two albums Brightblur is the only one that received any real recognition. And I highly doubt it made Wally Shaw or Mark Nash any real money.

In fact, Brightblur is the only album which can even be found/purchased…anywhere! Their second album “Dressed To The Nines… Armed To The Teeth” is virtually a ghost record. If you were lucky enough to buy it in 2002 you probably own one of the only surviving copies. I’m not kidding here, people – it’s impossible to legally buy. If you own a new/almost new copy of the original CD, PLEASE email me as I will gladly purchase it from you at just about any price.

In fact I’ve spent, off and on, about 4 years looking for a copy of Dressed To The Nines… Armed To The Teeth. It is simply not available anywhere. The obvious places like Ebay, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify certainly don’t have it. The only place that once used to have the songs from the album was Grooveshark–and we all know what happened to it. So the album is now a collector’s relic of the past, sadly unavailable even for those who are actively searching for it.

EDIT: I FOUND IT! Working with the former manager of the band, I have procured multiple copies of the Dressed To The Nines album (still new and shrink-wrapped!) If you’d like to purchase a copy, click here

In summary, if you’re on this website you probably already understand and appreciate the genius of Massivivid and the revolutionary impact they might have made on your life. They are not just a “great Christian band,” but a great band overall. Their influence on my youth as well as on my appreciation of the entire genre could not be overstated. If you have not heard their music I strongly encourage you to use the link on the right to buy it on Amazon. I can only hope that some legacy royalties are still slowly trickling into the talented artists who made this art.

29 thoughts on “Massivivid: The Most Obscure Gem of the Christian Music Scene

  1. Awesome that you ended up buying! Good work. Hopefully this can become a good community of fans. I absolutely loved Massivivid back when Brightblur got released and it’s also one of my favourite albums still to this day (actually gave them another listen to the other day… And it still sounds as fresh today as it did back then.
    I am one of the people who managed to get a physical copy of their Dressed to the Nines album, I’m not letting that one go very easily haha, for obvious reasons ; ).

  2. I’ve been looking for a copy of Dressed to the Nines… for quite some time! I have a physical copy of Brightblur, which I listen to very regularly, but no Dressed to the Nines 🙁
    I am so glad you purchased! Like the comment before, I hope this becomes a great community of Massivivid / Deitiphobia / Donderfliegen fans! Great job!

  3. Hey there. Huge MV fan from way back.

    Any clue what Wally’s gear setup was back then? Or who played guitar on that record?

    1. I don’t know much about their Brightblur days, but I was lucky enough to live in the same town and hung out with them a bit during the Dressed era.

      Guitar on Dressed was a super nice guy whose stage name was “Sid Precious.” His real name was Jason (last name left off for privacy). Really creative dude who was able to project the rockstar image while performing but was the most down-to-earth, humble person.

      Wally’s live rig was – no kidding – a little practice amp that he live mic’d on stage just out of sight. I don’t remember the brand, but it wasn’t anything fancy. Like a 30 watt, $100 brand new, entry level box. But it worked great for their show! My understanding is that Dressed was all direct input during recording, and so it was all guitar-rig/amp-sim stuff. He only played guitar on maybe 1/3 of the songs live.

  4. Thanks for the article. I didn’t even know they had an album called “Dressed To The Nines… Armed To The Teeth” . Their Brightblur has always had a unique and impressive sound to me, and the passion in the songs is moving and amazing.

  5. It’s really too bad that Wally fell away from the Christian life and sub sequentially divorced Sheri. Dressed to the nines kind of reflected that as well at times. He was an amazing musician / song-writer. My all time favorite Deitiphobia song is “I Tore The Sky” and my favorite Massivivid song is “Drop”.

      1. You were around for what.. like 10 minutes?
        Google Wally now, you can clearly see who chose to divorce and why. I know them both and worked with them both, unlike yourself. ✌🏼

  6. Thank you for the dedication to build this site and effort to keep good music alive.

    Argyle park amongst other great acts like under midnight and generation this is my most favorite rock oriented industrial band.

    I am surprised you never mentioned Alexia in the to post as that band is related to massivivid and is another amazing band

    I am glad at least massivivid had a site..on a user under the name silverlage dedicated a fan page to argyle park before klayton bought the rights back from the label and remastered and reproduce misguided and released to a much much wider audience.

    With bands like klank and circle of dust returning with such great amazing new music besides more popular bands like code of ethics and the blamed I can only hope Massivivid returns along with other forgotten amazing true Christian bands like under midnight, generation and others

    I was born into music like circle of dust and mortal and it’s quality music that I always share to people who have poor taste like skillet and other mainstreamers..

    And when they say NiN I laugh….who remembers God lives underwater?

    Way more David then rezner lol!!

    1. Dude! I LOVE Under Midnight! They were once of the greats with circle of dust, mortal, Deitaphobia, the echoing green. Those were the top bands in this eclectic genre of Christian music. I still own the original CDs from back in the 90s. I wish this genre would make a modern comeback like thrash metal has.

  7. Was just on YouTube searching in vain for “Bright Blur.” Couldn’t remember the name of the band from twenty years ago that produced such an outstanding under-appreciated album. Finally found the right Google search string that pulled up Massivivid: “oh yeah, I remember now!” And Brightblur was one word….Now I can find it on Spotify and YouTube, using Massivivid.

    Thanks for this site, memorializing an album that truly deserves to be remembered.

  8. Pre-dating Massivivid was Wally & Sheri Shaws first band “Deitaphobia” of which the clean album is what I would consider their brightest point. I am currently hunting down these old albums on line now. I found out about Deitaphobia back in 1993. I wish with Deitaphobia or Massivivid would do another album and have Joey Ba’ville from The Echoing Green OR Clayton from Circle of Dust produce / direct it that would be a true master peice album.

  9. I first heard them a loooong time ago on a compilation cassette. They were in the ‘Someone sign these guys’ category with, of all bands, Thousand Foot Krutch! Had BB on cassette & then on CD… Found their earlier stuff (Dietiphobia) and never looked back. However I was truly disappointed with their follow up though… I think their Chicago roots caught up with them. 🙂

  10. Out of curiosity I Googled ‘Wally Shaw’… eventually came up with a listing on Has a few different alias’: Adam Smasher, Eternal Youth League, Franky Vivid, Icon Tack, MC White & Tremor. Also has a band name listed Phobiagogo along with the usual ones.

  11. I dont see any other way to contact here; but like others who’ve asked a few years back– are the dressed to the nines… CDs still available or all gone now? as w/ others chiming in here, massivivid was one of my favorites, along wiht argyle park, C.o.D / celldweller etc.
    thanks for any updated info
    brentjunk at bwgl dot net

  12. Still use Drop as a ringtone after all these years.
    The only things I don’t like about Massivivid is that they’re no longer around and that I can’t find them on Spotify…

  13. I am glad to find this site, but like the band it seems abandoned. I purchased Brightblur years ago but somehow lost the actual CD (I still have the cover). I have had to make do with a few poor quality downloads since 😥 and like it seems everyone is on here – I am still on the hunt! So if you know where to get some good quality downloads, I’m all ears…

    But I agree very much with the sentiments expressed above – there was not much of this quality back then – even among the bigger bands. I am glad to see someone else mentioning Circle of Dust although I only managed to get the album Disengage. How is it that this kind of stuff stayed so hidden?

    My favorite song has to be ‘Drop’ by Massivivid. Not sure whether it really compares but the only thing I’ve found after those is perhaps Matthew Parker and some of his remixes. There was a single album of a band called “Disctronica” which I liked but it’s all old now. Capital Kings is okay but not quite gritty enough. I’d love to hear any other suggestions I should be looking up, but lyrically it’s got to be Christian.

    I liked Flame and a little bit of Lecrae but they still aren’t on the same page as the above.

    I’m in Africa now as a Missionary and its great to open people’s minds on what can be considered ‘Christian’ music. Funny how screamo does nothing for them but they are shocked to hear Matthew Parker is a Christian!

  14. I was just listening to Klank and wanted to listen to some of the massivivid stuff. I didn’t find much on spotify, so I googled and came here.
    I had a few mutual contacts with Wally/Franky and still keep in touch with Wil.
    Its great to see there is still a fan base that enjoys the music.

  15. I agree wholeheartedly. But I’ll give a little push back on the ONLY ones doing it. Don’t forget about Circle od Dust, Argyle Park, Klank and Chatterbox, to name a few.

  16. Great write-up, feel like I could have written this myself. Only exception being that I agree with Ron that there were other great industrial bands like the ones he listed. Please keep this site alive!

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