November 23, 2021

Beneath The Massacre - Dystopia (2008)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Technical Death Metal
Label Number: 10062-2

© 2008 Prosthetic Records
What is up with those French Canadian death metal bands and their proclivity toward impossibly technical death metal? Montreal's Beneath the Massacre are just the latest upstarts to follow in the bootsteps of influential giants GorgutsCryptopsyKataklysm, and Neuraxis (to name but a few), with songs that were seemingly composed primarily as mathematical exercises rather than as a means of artistic expression -- cue the group's sophomore full-length, 2008's Dystopia. Let's be clear now: this is not necessarily a knock on Beneath the Massacre's chosen m.o. so much as a frank advisory to extreme metal fans about the predominantly cerebral nature of the band's music, which is rife with daunting instrumental accomplishment rather than catchy messages you can grunt along to in the mosh pit. Sure, the omnipresent Cookie Monster vocals of Elliot Desgagnés guarantee a certain amount of inherent savagery throughout, but most songs can only get a tad bit, um...uncivilized, due to the machine-like precision practiced by the rarely wavering double kick-drums of Justin Rouselle or systematic lead shredder Christopher Bradley. Seriously, the latter's head-spinning array of repetitive finger exercises frequently supplant actual guitar riffing on many of these tracks (see "Condemned," "Reign of Terror," and "Lithium Overdose" for prime examples), and even his solos tend to sound hopelessly structured and disciplined, rather than "felt" (see "Bitter"). As a result, much of Dystopia's potential emotional payoff is buried under a writhing frenzy of musicianship, more fit for robots (make that battle robots) than flesh-and-blood humanoids.

tags: beneath the massacre, dystopia, 2008, flac,


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