Megascavenger: At the Plateaus of Leng

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Megascavenger: At the Plateaus of Leng
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Megascavenger: At the Plateaus of Leng
Death Metal
Chaos Records
February 17th, 2014
Release length: 40:05
Megascavenger may be a two-piece, but it is a major superstar act. Rogga Johansson, a man known for his time in Humanity Delete, The 11th Hour, Ribspreader and countless other bands brought Axeslasher, Those Who Bring the Torture, and fellow Ribspreader drummer Brynjar Helgetun into this brand new effort. It’s unclear when the project had actually formed, but it’s first offering was Songs of Flesh (Part 1) EP in 2012, followed later that year with the debut full-length Descent of Yuggoth. Two years later the duo find themselves signed to Chaos Records to unleash the follow-up album At the Plateaus of Leng. But are these pushing their abilities as musicians too far in the way of new material, or is this a superb offering to both member’s quickly growing discographies?

At the Plateaus of Leng has a good deal of variety to it, though not everything really stands out. The title track offers up your staple Swedish Death Metal assault with rich buzzing distortions and a good number of hooks sprawled across a groove-heavy performance. There are plenty of moments you’ll at least bob your head along, such as the slight complexity of the bridges and deeper tension in the chorus. There’s also “Like Comest Burn the Ether.” While in a similar vein, this one feeds a little more upbeat and grand, as if channelling the works of Amon Amarth.

“And Then the Death Sets In” doesn’t leave much of an impact. It’s a decent slow-paced Death Metal cut along the lines of Six Feet Under, but it’s the emotionally melancholic guitar work that would fit right at home with My Dying Bride. That latter touch carries over to “The Mucus Man” perfectly. The simpler melodies compliment the faster hook-filled main verses perfectly, though the raspy vocal approach may take a few spins before you realize how no other approach would really work.

“The Hand of Bereavment” is one of the songs that feels a bit out of place. This one isn’t bad, it just ends up sounding a bit too mainstream compared to the rest. It throws back to some early Melodic Death Metal influence that is infectious for what it is, but the clean singing leaves a bit to be desired. The vocals can be a bit shaky, especially in the chorus, though they largely stay on key the whole time. The only other major gripe is that the performance just seems to cut out near the end for no real reason other than slamming into more “Like Comets Burn the Ether” styled hook-filled Death Metal. And then there’s “The Festered Earth,” which has a hint of Progressive Metal in the Science Fiction keyboards that crop up throughout the song. They’re catchy, but a bit out of place for the more aggressive two-step main verses similar to Children of Bodom circa Follow the Reaper, but with a toned down chorus that includes some rather bland clean singing. It’s interesting, though not that engaging.

While it doesn’t show two established musicians starting to wear thin, At the Plateaus of Leng winds up a heavily varied offering that ends up a somewhat generic release. It has it’s share of songs that stand out, which are usually the more enthusiastic hook-filled performances like the title track and “Like Comets Burn the Ether,” but there’s some standard groove based cuts with and without that sweet Swedish Death Metal touch, a few out of place performances that seem to confirm this release as more of a display of appreciation to all things Death Metal. Overall it isn’t bad and ends up a nice little companion piece to fans of Brynjar Helgetun and Rogga Johansson that won’t set any new standards, but makes for a good casual listen once in a while at the very least.

01. At the Plateaus of Leng – 4:37
02. The Festered Earth – 3:39
03. And Then the Death Sets In – 5:35
04. The Mucus Man – 4:16
05. Like Comets Burn the Ether – 4:53
06. When Death Kills the Silence – 3:54
07. The Hand of Bereavment – 3:53
08. Back to the Ancient – 4:40
09. Night of the Grand Obscenity – 4:38
Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10

Megascavenger
Megascavenger

Digital review copy of this release provided by Chaos Records via Transcending Obscurity.