01. Symptoms
02. Hunted
03. Left Hand
04. Hopes
05. It
06. Light
07. Incongruous
08. Pedestal
09. Grief
10. Damages
11. Unheard

RATING: 8/10

Initially impressed with the crunching complexity of 2007's "Mechanics Of Dysfunction" from Montreal tech-death darlings BENEATH THE MASSACRE, I was mildly disappointed with 2008's "Dystopia". There was something about presentation of the latter release that felt flat and lacking in staying power, even after the additional spins required for an album of this type. After skipping 2010's "Marée Noire" EP, though not really with intention, this year's "Incongruous" has raised my level of appreciation for the band. In fact, it's a damn stout tech-death masher.

The extraterrestrial force that is BENEATH THE MASSACRE, one originating from a galaxy of gaseous sweep-picked forms in which ORIGIN has been spotted, has sent to earth a technically adept collection of 11 songs that offer more than just blinding blasts of mayhem. In other contexts, one might say the tune construction leaves more room to breathe. But as it pertains to BENEATH THE MASSACRE on "Incongruous", it is really a matter of the group bringing depth with a degree of distinction from one track to the next that offers more than middle-tier acts of this ilk. This time all those swirls and sweeps amidst the colossally crunching riffs are more appealing to the ears and don't become a mere blur after three cuts. Rather, the more time spent with it the more exciting the arrangements get, albeit within certain parameters. The patterns and tempo formats add to that appeal, the opening attack "Symptoms" and the title track two such examples of the combination of characteristics succeeding. Final cut "Unheard" defines the act's precision song craft, the controlled chaos of those magnificent leads amounting to a rich tech-death symphony that is awe inspiring. That the tune is compacted into three minutes, leaving one breathless and begging for me, speaks to the level of achievement reached.

Fans of tech-death have heard this type of thing in various ways on some of the better known albums from bands following a similar stylistic bent, but doing it well still counts for something. On "Incongruous", BENEATH THE MASSACRE does it very freakin' well. This one is easy to recommend without qualification.


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