Beneath The Massacre
posted on 10/2008 By:
Beneath The Massacre’s first album Mechanics of Dysfunction was a technical marvel but a frustratingly sterile affair song-wise. I loved and hated it in equal measure. So now the follow-up Dystopia has landed and the good news is everything’s gone up a notch. The production is better, the vocals have improved and best of all the songs are definitely stronger. While I do feel this criminally talented band still sacrifices truly memorable songwriting on the altar of technicality, there’s no doubt Dystopia is Beneath The Massacre’s best release so far, and fanboys should be salivating at the prospect of hearing this.
The differences on Dystopia from previous efforts are subtle but noteworthy. The production is warmer and slightly more brutal. The growling of Elliot Desgagnes is a bit more ferocious this time around, and thankfully the guy sounds like he’s choking on a little less cotton wool than before. Otherwise it’s the same double-kicked, sweep-picked mayhem that has characterized BTM since day one. It’s just that on this album the compositions they form are not only more intense and brutal, but thankfully more interesting as well. And is that a touch of melody I hear on “The Wasteland” and “Never More”? Yes it is, and Dystopia is all the better for it.
Spin any one of the album's eleven tracks and you’re guaranteed to get your teeth kicked in. Some stick better than others though, such as opener “Condemned” with its brutal stop-start groove. “No Future” and the aforementioned “The Wasteland” are boosted by the inclusion of short sharp solos, while closing number “Procreating the Infection” stands out as one of Beneath The Massacre’s most well-crafted songs to date. The technicality is no less extreme but it’s balanced out by other elements, particularly the vocals which are at their most desperate and fierce here. Hopefully, it’s a sign of where BTM are headed with their songwriting.
Dystopia is a strong offering of brutal, technical death that sees Beneath The Massacre refining their sound and improving in all major areas. Although the band remains a little too cold and calculating for my tastes, I still have to give credit where it’s due – these guys have stepped up their game. While I wouldn’t count it among this year’s best death metal offerings, Dystopia is easily one of the heaviest.
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