"Mechanics of Dysfunction"


01. The Surface
02. Society's Disposable Son
03. The System's Failure
04. The Stench of Misery
05. Untitled
06. Modern Age Slavery
07. The Invisible Hand
08. Better off Dead
09. Long Forgotten
10. Sleepless

RATING: 7.5/10

In 2005, a little known Canadian death metal band called BENEATH THE MASSACRE surfaced with a short EP on Galy Records called "Evidence of Inequity". The quick-hitter left more than its fair share of scars and a rather bloody wake, resulting in more than a few critics dubbing them a band to watch. Prosthetic Records was watching and smartly decided to snatch them from the jaws of virtual anonymity and release a 10-song full-length album called "Mechanics of Dysfunction". Again technical, but better structured, and sporting some lethal, semi-calamitous grooves, the disc is a gnarly little son of a bitch that should turn some heads in the death metal community.

Technical death metal is a take-it-of-leave-it proposition for most fans and critics, but a few bands manage to straddle the line between outright masturbation and accomplished musicianship with a purpose. On "Mechanics of Dysfunction", BENEATH THE MASSACRE astounds with fluid sweeps, chunky riffing, and an impossibly tight rhythm section that stays on track through some dangerously quick material. A band like CRYPTPOPSY will get thrown around a lot for comparison purposes, but I suspect as much for the Canadian background as any musical similarities; some commonality exists, but the Canadian godfathers' approach is more of an off-the-rails one. A more apt comparison may fall somewhere DECAPITATED and ORIGIN.

Perhaps the best thing that BENEATH THE MASSACRE has going for it is that you can hear a distinct development in the songwriting on "Mechanics of Dysfunction". It is not exactly melody that is heard on this abrasive bugger, but a compact delivery with a bit more accessibility than you may hear from, for example, a Unique Leader band. "The System's Failure" is one of a handful of examples in of an arrangement with more than a modicum of rhyme and reason. The vocal patterns on "Better Off Dead" come close to something that Glen Benton (DEICIDE) might do, the impact quite powerful. It is also an example of the band's development as songwriters. Though obviously technically driven, the arrangement is far from a futile exercise in technique; the tune is built on solid compositional ground. And sometimes it is a simple matter of a certain part jumping up and slapping you across the face, as the hair-raising harmonic on "Modern Age Slavery" demonstrates.

Finally, the production of old pro Yannick St-Amand (DESPISED ICON, ION DISSONANCE), the mixing of Pierre Remillard, and the mastering of the ubiquitous Alan Douches combine for a razor sharp, clinically precise (in this case, a good thing), and chunked up sound. Overall, "Mechanics of Dysfunction" is a robust and easily digested tech-death album. Keep your eye on this bunch.


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