It has been a long five and a half years since we first posted and lusted over the Skool’s In EP from Norwegian trio Deathcrush and that it is only now that their debut album is with us. But it is a wait and anticipation that Megazone voraciously rewards with nine feral slices of the band’s inimitable and enthralling noise punk/ death pop tempestuousness.
Distinctly unique to the Oslo outfit since day one, the Deathcrush sound has only escalated its distinct character as it has evolved and blossomed to greater heights as embraced by Megazone. Each track within the album is a fusion of invitation and warning, all a magnetic lure into the dissonance and threat of a world in chaos. Yet their infectiousness means you want indeed need to be there surrounded by the virulence of their arousing trespasses.
The trio of vocalist/guitarist Linn Nystadnes, bassist/vocalist Pelle Bamle, and vocalist/drummer Vidar Evensen relish their music’s instinctive catchiness within album opener EGO. The song offers a hug of warmth and calm poppiness which is never quite repeated across the release again; an individual dance of temptation which just glows on the senses as vocals caress around the tenebrific stroll of bass. Even so there is a underlying darkness which gathers and festers as the track builds its tension, a sonic dissonance that corrupts the light if not the song’s resonance and contagiousness.
The great start is swiftly escalated by the caustic winds of PushPushPush. Guitars are a scathing insight as Evensen’s animated rhythms rally and assault the senses, all the while Nystadnes’ tones a belligerent match to the toxic flames of her stringed insurgency. Gripping attention, the track scars as it enamours though it is soon eclipsed in personal tastes by the bewitching Khmer Rich. Almost prowling the listener even with its excited stroll, the song simply entangled the imagination in its corrosively incandescent web whilst the body bounced to its nagging punk catchiness.
As the song outdid its predecessor, so Dumb left it in the shade a touch with its communicable dance and discord. Again drone and incessant nagging makes up the irresistible character and insistence of a Deathcrush song, its repetitive but adventurous persistence a voraciously crawling incitement proving so easy to devour before Filthy Street casts its own magnetic sonic austerity; it too something which stalks as it seduces while throbbing resonance springs from Bamle’s bass infestation. Unsurprisingly the song’s sound and breath echoes the landscape of its title, getting into every pore and corner of the psyche like aural pestilence and igniting both for richer pleasure.
Bedsit is next up, its malignant pop an evocation and infestation of soulless exposure with a great underlying Pixies-esque bewitchment while Trust Me follows with its particular punk noise prowl, one as with all tracks which can be taken into intimate or broader interpretations and reflections as the music only gathers in a momentum of temptation.
It proved hard to choose a main favourite amongst all the tracks within Megazone but the final pair of Daemon with its infernal melodic flames and mordant breath and State of the Union makes persistent claims. To be honest the last track steals it at the death; its rhythmic contagion alone pure manna to these ears and unerring hypnotic bait which vocal dexterity and the spellbinding drone around it respectively ride and cling to for certain rapture.
For many reasons we did expect to enjoy Megazone but it still left us far more impressed and breathless than we could have imagined. We really should not have been surprised after all this is Deathcrush and they are no strangers to harrying noise, imagination, and boundaries.
Megazone is out now via Apollon Records.
Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019
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