I make no apologies for declaring my love for Canadian technical death metal stalwarts Beneath The Massacre, and in particular their insane debut album Mechanics Of Dysfunction.
While never exactly reaching Origin levels of intricate lunacy, that first statement of BTM intent was a deliberately spazzy and thrilling affair, with bonkers riffage and time changes bouncing round the room in a style akin to somebody playing a game of Squash with a ferret dosed up on speed. I always wondered how they could keep up that intricate head of speed over time and albums.
Turns out they haven’t.
There is a more measured and evenly paced approach to this new set; Whilst the songs still move at a cracking pace, played with startling accuracy, their numerous in-song switches and skewed twists have been tempered, with the tracks by and large sticking to slightly more streamlined song writing throughout. This doesn’t, however, mean the band have turned into Blink 182.
The album is still fiercely intricate, the playing still as tight as my sister at Christmas, and indeed the more streamlined approach produces some outright belters such as Damages.
There is if course the argument that there is only so far one can go with the angular, near-mathematical approach to the band’s output… indeed, the far thrashier Meshuggah only really took the kitchen sink approach to music so far before settling in to a more palatable style of song craft. However I personally miss the unpredictability of previous releases. It is important to stress that this doesn’t lessen the impact of the album; This thing moves.
The benefit of more digestible songs means that this has more potential ‘throw it in the player’ value than the more obscure chops of earlier releases, and the more I’ve listened to this album, I’ve come to appreciate the fact there is almost a tech ‘groove’ aspect to the writing this time around. It’s all down to individual tastes however, and to be fair, I find myself reaching for this album more than I do mid-period BTM releases. I honestly can’t see fans of the band to be thoroughly turned off by this CD, and it may well suit new listeners of the band as an entry level far more accessible than earlier releases.
Overall, recommended to fans and newcomers.