Band: Beneath The Massacre
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Label: Century Media
FFO: Origin, I Declare War, Oceano
New album ‘Fearmonger’ from Beneath The Massacre, 2020 quality production, Anthony Barone on drums. No, I am not just naming some of my favorite things, these are simply the facts of what I’m going to be talking about in this review. Eight years have passed since ‘Incongruous’ and BTM is back like they never left. Really though, this album sounds like they have been putting out a record yearly. The talent, the vibe, the attitude, it’s all still there. The only real difference is the production shooting up. With an album with so much all over the place, I think the mix could’ve been a bit better. Kicks are a little flat sounding too. But an all-embracing better sound.
The only two things that come to mind when I try to piece together any sort of structure throughout this LP is fast and brutal. That seems to be BTM’s goal with every record and this is no exception. The drums, like lightning and thunder (what else do you expect from Anthony). The guitar work, both rhythm and lead are blazing. And Elliot is just as good as ever. Very rarely if at all are you able to catch a breath amongst the wreckage as this album progresses. I’m a huge fan of atmospheric, more artistic styles of metal but I can’t ever deny a band like this. Sometimes all you need is this amount of push with no giveback. With so much movement in each song though, it is at times hard to find a framework, especially if you are listening to it in the background or while doing something else. Songs might blend in together and struggle to have a firm identity of their own. It is a slight downside and something I’m not much of a fan of but it’s the sacrifice you almost have to make if you want to create such mayhem within 10 songs and 30 minutes.
I’ve listened to this album a high number of times now and I still get the same energy and drive from it that it intended to output. I can’t listen to it one playthrough after another, but I have no problem throwing it on weekly. Nothing is better than an album that you know you can throw on at almost any time and feel that same heat. Lyrical themes of government, politics, and the take-down of such, only fuels the fire even hotter. If you for some reason haven’t heard this album yet and are saying to yourself “This all sounds like their last record..s.” Well, you’re not completely wrong. Compare ‘Fearmonger’ to their previous work and you will find a lot of the same ideas right down to the core of the sound. Because the truth is, it is mostly the same. Same craziness, concepts, and musical direction overall. If anything, they may as well be classified as a tech-death group at this point. Some people have a gripe against change, some need it, I for one don’t care if you remake the same album over and over again as long as it sounds good and stays interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I love innovation and experimenting with something new, but my main focus when listening to a new album is: “Is it good”. Do I knock some mental points for creativity? Sure, but at least it’s not bad. It does what it’s here to do, and gets the job done well.
Every so often, BTM releases an album. And when they do, you know what to expect; a fast crushing experience that will lead you all over the place throughout it’s typically short 2-3 minute songs. So if that’s what you’re looking for, this is the band for you. Even though they aren’t the freshest sound, they know how to turn chaos into a hard hitting face melter of a record. There’s no getting around the aggressive and relentless nature of this band, nor this album - it’s a beast. Every time I enjoy a record like this, it all makes me think, why? Why do I love this band over this or that other band that turns everything up to the technical extreme? I really don’t think there’s an answer for that, and if there is, it’s probably far too nuanced. In the end I chalk it up to preference, and this right here is mine.
Strongest Song: Autonomous Mind
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/beneath-the-massacre/214355791