With good words heard about but sounds not yet an acquaintance, we had definite intrigue in our anticipation of the new album from Swedish death metal project Megascavenger. What we found within new album As Dystopia Beckons was one mouth-watering and unpredictable kaleidoscope of ferociously imaginative, ravenously confrontational, and venomously contagious extreme metal incitement.
The third album from the Rogga Johansson created project, descends on the senses with a creative animus of discontented sound, ruinous vocals, and an industrial seeded dissonance providing something which really is out of the ordinary. As with previous albums from guitarist/bassist/vocalist Johansson with drummer Brynjar Helgetun often alongside, As Dystopia Beckons sees the guest involvement of a host of members from major bands; Hail of Bullets, Entrails, and Bolt Thrower amongst many sharing their musicians. In many ways though, the stars of the proposition are the bold songwriting and spread of virulently invasive and varied flavours which merge with a tempest of corrosive death metal.
It all begins with Rotting Domain, a predatory stalking of the senses featuring Sven Gross of Fleshcrawl. Initially the track skirts around and prowls ears, shadowing the atmospheric visage of a dystopian landscape which emerges from within the sonic coaxing. Swiftly though, the listener is the target of hungry riffs and tenacious rhythms as an imposing portentous intent is shared by gutturally spewed vocals. It is a highly magnetic affair, especially with the stabbing beats and searing grooves which lay their claim to the imagination.
An industrial intrusiveness opens up the following assault of The Machine That Turns Humans Into Slop. From the carnal tones of bass to the swinging melodic grooves and voracious trespass of the rhythmic web, the song demands and receives eager attention. David Ingram (Hail of Bullets, Echelon, ex-Benediction, ex-Bolt Thrower) adds to the erosive persistence and infectious nagging of the song before Dead City with Jocke Svensson of Entrails involved, takes over. Straight away, the track stalks the senses with a cauldron of onerous sonic intrusiveness and thrash lined riffery. It is a drama which has the imagination swiftly locked in, physical attraction quickly lured by the industrial lined rapacity in sound and emotion that consumes ears. Though it does not quite find the same heights as the first pair of songs, it leaves enjoyment at a similarly feisty level before being eclipsed by As The Last Day Has Passed.
Already there has been a varied addition of textures and spices to songs, but the fourth is far bolder and subsequently even more attention grabbing. Teddy Möller (Loch Vostok, The Experiment No.Q, The Hidden) joins the pair in the lively catchiness and rampancy of the classic/ thrash metal fuelled track, his grizzled vocals a great union with Johansson’s throat shredding prowess. Like a mix of Fear Factory and Soilwork yet not, surprise is instantly replaced by pleasure for not only the gripping sounds but the bold ideation involved.
Things only seem to get braver and more hectic from hereon in; starting with The Hell That Is This World and its early-Pitchshifter/ Entombed like seductive massacre. The track is glorious, an uncompromising anthemic assault of brutal, groove entangled rock ‘n’ roll which again is built on numerous strains of addictive noise and tempestuous textures for one unique infestation of the passions. Kam Lee (ex-Massacre, ex-Mantas, Bone Gnawer, The Grotesquery) adds his prowess to the song and appears again in The Harrowing Of Hell, though before it, the death ‘n’ roll of Dead Rotting And Exposed scars and corrodes the senses whilst stirring up another industrial soaked stomp followed by the even more hellacious Steel Through Flesh Extravaganza with Adrie Kloosterwaard of Sinister in the mix, which uncages a contagion soaked storm of sonic cancer on the senses. Once more the best description for the thrilling violation is grievous rock ‘n’ roll, and again unbridled satisfaction is the reward.
The Harrowing Of Hell entwines gothic and extreme metal in an encounter which hints at bands like Sisters Of Mercy and Gene Love Jezebel as much as an Asphyx or a Godflesh. From a strong start, the album is at a new level around its middle with this transfixing encounter up there as its finest moment alongside The Hell That Is This World.
Completed by the prophetic sonic instrumental smog of its title track, As Dystopia Beckons leaves the senses wasted and imagination alive with emotions in total agreement. The album easily feeds a want for something individual and refreshing whilst stirring up the instincts for a barbarously invasive time, so can only be heartily recommended.
As Dystopia Beckons is out now via Selfmadegod Records @ http://selfmadegod.com/en/shop/item/12022
Pete RingMaster 02/03/2016.
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