Beneath the Massacre
Mechanics of Dysfunction


3.0
good

Review

by Tyler EMERITUS
February 18th, 2007 | 148 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beneath the Massacre has one of the fastest drummers I've ever heard, and the guitars are out of this world. It's got plenty of tech, lots of shred and some crushing breakdowns. But that's about all it has...

Congratulations to Beneath the Massacre. Mechanics Of Dysfunction, the band's debut full-length and follow-up to their mostly well received EP solidifies their place in the music world. For those unaware, Beneath the Massacre is a Technical Death Metal group, and for those familiar with the genre, well, you're probably expecting what I'm about to say.

With Mechanics of Dysfunction, Beneath the Massacre has successfully entered "so what"" territory. This album is fast as hell. The guitars are out of this world complicated. But, and here's the kicker...so what"

I was, at least initially, a fan of this band's debut EP. If you took it for what it was, you'd be hard pressed to find disappointment. Though by no means a flawless effort, its main faults were harkened purely on the basis that it was, simply speaking, an EP. It did what it was supposed to; it showed us they could certainly play, it showed us they were at least moderately creative, and it hinted at a bigger idea. Throughout the EP idea the Montreal five-piece toyed with dystopian themes, all of which were conveyed with a hyper-precise technical flair.

Okay I lied, the EP was marred by one reoccurring flaw that didn't spawn from length, at least not directly.

Breakdowns.

So has Beneath the Massacre smartened up" Have they focused themselves a little more"

Err...sort of.

Now a four-piece, Beneath the Massacre has definitely perfected their sound, and upon listening to the full length I was aware that nobody was as sure of this as the band itself. For those unfamiliar with the group, Beneath the Massacre plays, as mentioned prior, Technical Death Metal, with emphasis on the Technical. They go the more-is-more route, giving all current genre-giants a run for their money. Their sound, while pretty set-in-stone, is actually quite the bitch to describe, so let me take a stab at it.

Imagine drumming so fast it might as well be programmed, but it's not. Imagine a guitarist that's seemingly faster and more precise than Muhammed Suicmez and a vocalist that sounds almost exactly like him. Throw in some breakdowns, breakdowns that are used frequently while still coming off more natural than on their EP. Throw it in a blender. Oh, and add a dab of the whole Meshuggah-like mechanical vibe and you're just about there.

It sounds sumptuous, doesn't it"

Well it is, and because of that people are going to eat it up. To a point, I'm no exception. This is blaringly fast and ridiculously technical music. The only problem is that's all it is. Clocking in at just less than 30 minutes, the album is 10 tracks that all sound basically the same. Lucky for most, when you pair the inhuman speeds this band plays at with its fairly short play time, even the more repetitive parts will be over fast. But that's not to say they only play at breakneck speeds. While it is most definitely their speciality, the band still likes to use breakdowns to their advantage. The first half of the album is where you'll find the most effective and prominent use of breakdowns, breakdowns that display a heavy Meshuggah influence in the sense that they're usually going to be in some seemingly awkward time signature. But much like their EP, the breakdowns do just as much harm as good. While surely they're used more sparingly than before, this time around it's the production turn to ruin ‘em.

The production on the album does both positive and negative things for the band's sound. To be positive, it perfectly mirrors the mechanical sound the band was going for, but on the downside, it leaves a lot to be desired. The band's drummer, Justin Rousselle, is definitely one of the more creative-mega blasting drummers, but thanks to the production you'll be limited to hearing, at least for the most, the kick-drums, which are, for the record, ridiculously triggered (though they'd have to be to capture the speeds he's playing at). The drum sound is directly linked to my earlier point about the breakdowns being less than effective. More often than not, the breakdowns sound puny and weak. When I hear a breakdown, I want to be able to picture the drummer pounding as hard as he can on the drums, smashing the cymbals with intense ferocity. And though it's not to say he isn't, the drum sound is so dominated by the kick that much of the cymbal work is pushed far into the background, resulting in breakdowns coming off as completely hollow. The guitars and vocals are perfectly captured, but the bass-work also leaves a lot to be desired. The bass doesn't really seem to add too much of a low-end to the mix and though bassist Dennis Bradley is clearly holding his own, you'll be hard pressed to notice it.

So I don't really know what to say about this album that hasn't been said already. Technically speaking, these dudes have definitely proven themselves. Hell, they've even sort of matured as songwriters. But, what it all boils down to is a release that doesn't really prove itself. The songs are satisfying, I mean, you can headbang, floor punch and do any of the other stupid shit metalheads supposedly do when they listen to music, but the problem is that by the time this album's over, you're left with a fairly contrived experience. It is what it is, and I love that about it. It's fucking fast, brutal and it definitely brings the shred and mosh in equal parts, but that's literally all it does. Some people are okay with that, but I'm not one of them. Still, if you take away some points for the production and a few more for the lack of variation, you're still left with a fairly decent release. I definitely see a lot of people eating this up, and they should. It's about time someone knocked Necrophagist off the Tech-Death pedestal, and if anyone can do it, it's these guys, but maybe I'm just patriotic. It's faster, more complex and honestly more fun to listen to.

Oh, and if you play an instrument, this might make you want to give up, at least temporarily. So that's cute.



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user ratings (315)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
grindpantera (3.5)
Mechanics of Dysfunction is a desperately brutal album that unfortunately lacks the reflexive compos...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
February 18th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yawn.



I had a hard time finishing this one even though I wrote 90% of it like, two weeks ago. This album's pretty cool I guess.



My rating is stuck at 3.5 since that's what I accidentally put at first, but it's actually a 3.This Message Edited On 02.18.07

Shattered_Future
February 18th 2007


1560 Comments


I hated their EP. Out of a 2:30 song, the first minute or so was cool. Nothing terribly original, but it was nice and heavy and technical. Then a 1:30 breakdown section comes in, and just completely kills the whole bleeding thing. Which is a shame...if these guys got rid of the breakdowns, they could be a VERY good tech death band.

CheckersOnMyShoesYo
February 18th 2007


215 Comments


This sounds like it could sound just like every other metal band.

And that my friends, is generic.

Good review, Cocaine

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 18th 2007


3708 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I think I'll pass on this one. Good review.

Confessed2005
February 19th 2007


4503 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have heard like two songs from this band - I cannot remember either of them so they can't have been that memorable.

Intransit
February 19th 2007


2797 Comments


this sounds like the DragonForce of death metal.

ie good on a song by song basis but otherwise worthless.

Good review.

Wizard
February 19th 2007


20201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. I agree with your production comments throughout the review. Ive heard 2 songs off this album and they were pretty good for tech metal.

Tyler
Emeritus
February 19th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is why having only 2 Staff Reviews on the front page fucking sucks. This is gone before it's even released.

Tyler
Emeritus
February 19th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh yeah, and first person to call this "Deathcore" gets kicked in the nuts/tits.

Intransit
February 19th 2007


2797 Comments


is dis nething lyke norsecore??? lololol

*braces self*

Tyler
Emeritus
February 19th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Bump.



Until this is out, I'm bumping it.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
February 19th 2007


2126 Comments


The EP was whack, I quite enjoyed it for its first, say 10 minutes and then my ears just couldn't handle it anymore. I may check this out though.

Tyler
Emeritus
February 19th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They've sort of improved their songwriting skills but they didn't need 10 songs to show it.

CheckersOnMyShoesYo
February 19th 2007


215 Comments


lolol deathcore.

where do they come up with these names?

Tyler
Emeritus
February 20th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Bump since this comes out today.

WARPATH_88
February 20th 2007


514 Comments


Ive heard a little from these guys and I was blown away. Their drummer is soo fast.

Tyler
Emeritus
February 20th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sounds like you'll appreciate this album then.

Stoic
February 21st 2007


161 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was really into technical music back then and I liked the EP. Now, I've kind of grown up and realized that a lot of the technical death metal bands I used to like lacked important qualities like catchiness and feeling and Beneath The Massacre are one of them.



I agree with the negative aspects you pointed out Cocaine. "So What"? All the are totally forgottable and sound the same the breakdowns are horribly generic and that mechanical vibe is just NOT appealing. Alright, I'm impressed by the technical skill but dammit you can find technicality in a much better package (e.g. Gorgasm, Spawn of Possession, Necrophagist etc)



Great review as always although I sense a contradiction. It's like you forced yourself into liking it...



PS That drum description during break downs is priceless!This Message Edited On 02.21.07

Tyler
Emeritus
February 21st 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I am sort of on the fence with this album and that's why it sometimes seems contradictory.



The main problem is this album somehow seems to be over too fast, yet become totally bland, all in such a short playing time.



I do enjoy the songs on their own but as an album, this really should have been an EP.

Whiskey On The Rocks
February 22nd 2007


36 Comments


are the drums tabbed out? sure sounds like it...or at least like it was pro-tooled to kingdom come. still good fun to listen to, but can they play it live? anyone know?



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