Beneath the Massacre
Dystopia

While technically stunning, Beneath the Massacre’s transition from deathcore to a more technical death metal band on Mechanics of Dysfunction was a little short on memorability. So here is the follow up and while stylistically the band has continued their batshit insane musical pyrotechnics and uber busy delivery, they have managed to deliver a slightly more varied and memorable album.

I would argue that Beneath the Massacre now have more in common with the likes of Origin and Brain Drill rather than their deathcore contemporaries, with their ultra noodly, ridiculously complex structures, but with Dystopia, they have at least managed to add just a little restraint to their sound, and even a few breakdowns here and there, making for afar more complete album than Mechanics of Dysfunction.

Again armed with a super punchy and clinical but virtually bass guitar-less production of Yannick St Amand (as well as mastering of Alan Douches and mixing of Jason Suecof) Dystopia shreds and slices with a mechanical ferocity that’s almost robotic and programmed in its delivery, but is still deftly and often mindnumbingly complex. The opening duo of “Condemned” and “Reign of Terror” should be all you need to clue you in to the albums pace and savage intricacy. Don’t even go looking for songs to hum, tap or sing-a-long to. However, the first two songs also show the bands very slight exhumation of their debut EP with a couple of stern groove/breakdowns (especially “Reign of Terror”), though not the typical open note, bass drop kind, but simple, menacing slowdowns amid the eye of the storm.

The thing is though, the mid section of the album largely repeats the formula; tracks like “Our Common Grave”, “Harvest of Hate” and “The Wasteland” while certainly impressive slabs of dizzying ferocity, lack just a little bit of identity, thought still a little more than Mechanics of Dysfunction. The last chunk of teh album is better though as “Bitter” changes things up with a brief melodic solo and a choppier pace then “No Future” finally sees BTM slow things down for the songs opening respite, though it doesn’t last long, and when it careens into light speed, it sounds like any moment from the first two tracks. “Never More” is guilty of the same thing as it has the same merciless pace and almost the same ending breakdown as “Reign of Terror”. Luckily, very Origin-ish closer “Procreating the Infection” ends the album on a high note, with an utterly relentless display of brutality and complexity that has enough character to make it stand out on the album.

Elliot Desgagnés is still a relatively faceless, monotone vocal presence, and the bass is virtually non existent, and ultimately Dystopia is still a relatively singular minded vortex of speed and skill. I wouldn’t quite call it Mechanics of Dysfunction 2, as it has just a tad more structure and is slightly improved, but it’s still an album that’s an exhaustive listen.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 27th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: ceno

    Great musicianship, but I tend to get tired after a couple of tracks. Good review.


  2. Commented by: swampthang

    love these guys, def one of my favorite bands.


  3. Commented by: Red

    Good review Erik. Personally, I could don’t care too much for these guys but I will have to agree with ya on this review. Even though they seem to be leaving the deathcore tag behind, very slowly mind you, their fans seem to be just a huge group of “core” kids all the way. I saw these guys a few weeks back and it was nothing but chick pants, oversized hoodies, and so many karate kicks that I’m pretty sure Bruce Lee rose from the dead just so he could kill himself…


  4. Commented by: Vance

    Haha, holy shit I LOVE bashing on the hardcore kids, you know I might even write a book, make it a picture book, or possibly create a Sam Dunn type documentary on those douchebags…..It’s frustrating that they have to show up and make a mockery out of my beloved metal :(

    Anyways, great review and although these guys are insanely technical and all that, is it too much to ask for a F’ing guitar solo? I think it would go a long way in giving this stuff a little bit of feeling or something, instead of sounding like a bunch of robots… I like Brain Drill better


  5. Commented by: axiom

    Hmmmmm. I thought their ep was pretty tech way back when. The thing is, as of last year at least, there’s just a single guitarist. When I saw them it was like a different band, not as technical and pretty generic I thought.


  6. Commented by: Hiraga Saito

    Sounds alright from the song posted on their Myspace. I actually enjoyed Mechanics of Dysfunction a lot more than I thought I would, probably as a result of the mechanical feel of it more than anything. I hope this one is good too!


  7. Commented by: Dalton Q

    I don’t understand how you don’t hear bass on this record. Or for that matter, how you don’t hear it on Mechanics…it’s probably the most prominent bass in this genre. Especially kicking it into extreme overdrive on Dystopia. I do think that the production lends itself for the bass to fall out a bit but only due to the guitarist using a downtuned seven-string guitar that falls into bass territory on almost every riff. The bass is very clear in the right stereo, as long as you know how to listen for it.


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