Beneath The Massacre - Mechanics of Dysfunction
Prosthetic Records
Technical / Brutal Death Metal
10 songs (29:54)
Release year: 2007
Beneath The Massacre, Prosthetic Records
Reviewed by Dylan
Beneath The Massacre is the answer to the question that I’m sure most of you have pondered at least once in your metal journey. “If the most extreme elements Cryptopsy, Necrophagist, and The Red Chord were all melted down and then served together in the same drink, would it be too brutal for me to handle?” The answer for listeners who are looking for an easy listening experience is, quite simply, fuck yes. This is some of the fastest, heaviest, most complicated, brutal death metal that most people are likely to come across. However, fans of Cryptopsy’s percussive onslaught, Necrophagist’s guitar wizardry, and the crushing breakdowns of metalcore stalwarts, The Red Chord, will find this album to be an aural assault that is beyond satisfactory. In 2005, we were given quite a teaser with the band’s debut EP, Evidence of Inequity. Thankfully, this disc following much of the formula found on that effort, only this one is about twice as long in length.

The cover art is a good representation of what Mechanics of Dysfunction is all about. Sterile production, massive amounts of technical prowess, all cloaked in an overpowering brutality. Drummer Justin Roussell puts on a clinic of every trick in the skin-beating bag of tricks. Rolls, frantic fills, gravity blasts, odd kick patterns in the slower breakdowns, this man can do it all. Not only is his execution flawless, the production on this record makes it sound like he is using baseball bats as drum sticks, smashing the hell out of his kit at light speed. Guitarist Christopher Bradley is equally as impressive on his instrument. When his riffs don’t consist of harmonized swept arpeggios, he is pummeling his guitar into tremolo hell. At times atonally brutal, such as in the opening minute of The Surface, other times revealing blackened melody, as in standout track, Better Off Dead. Bassist Dennis Bradley is equally impressive and brings a hefty amount of thickness to the overall sound of the band. As for the vocals, Elliot Desgagnes’ delivery is quite similar to that of Hate Eternal frontman Eric Rutan, albeit with a bit more clarity in his growls.

So now that you know that these guys go beyond delivering the goods with their technical skill, how do the songs fair as a whole? That depends on a few things. First, numerous listens are going to be essential before these songs begin to make even the slightest amount of sense. This is going to fly over the heads of most on their first listen, as it did with myself. Luckily, after the first five listens or so, it starts to come together and standout moments begin to reveal themselves. Some of the more easily recognizeable moments of the songs are contained within numerous breakdowns found throughout the album. Sure to please fans of chugging groove, the breakdowns provide a degree of relief (relatively speaking) and offer the listener something that is easy to sink their teeth into. The untitled fifth track is somewhat humorous, consisting of nothing more than a minute long breakdown that is soon followed by the blistering fury of Modern Age Slavery. While the “stop and go” chugging makes up a small part of the overall picture, complicated, low-tuned riffs make up the majority of the album’s overall content, offering atonal sweeps, chromatic attack, and subtle slabs of an insidious melody. As you can expect, the traditional verse-chorus-verse song structure is abandoned in favor of a unpredictably complex weaving that never really lets you know where the song will end up next.

While there is definitely a lot to enjoy from this album for fans of brutally technical death metal, the criticisms of it are understandable. Some may accuse the band of lacking any heart or atmosphere, while some (myself included) feel that the absence of a recognizable atmosphere provides an atmosphere in of itself, much like the computer-like sterility of Meshuggah’s works evoke. Others may feel that these ten tracks aren’t really songs at all, but merely well performed contests of “look at how fast we can do what we are doing”. While that argument may have some merit, these songs grow to become more and more memorable with time (the tremolo riff found at the :39 mark in The System’s Failure, the opening sweep of Society’s Disposable Son, and the whole of Better Off Dead, to name a few. It will be interesting to see how (or if) the band can progress from the plateau they have set for themselves with this album. One thing is for sure, fans that were floored by Evidence of Inequity will be left battered again by this Canadian juggernaut, getting twice as much satisfaction as they did before.

Note: Below is the video for "Society's Disposable Son". In time the video may become outdated and fail to play.

Killing Songs :
All, but Society's Disposable Son and Better Off Dead are particularly enjoyable.
Dylan quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Beneath The Massacre that we have reviewed:
Beneath The Massacre - Evidence of Inequity reviewed by Jason and quoted no quote
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