Beneath The Massacre - Fearmonger
Century Media
Brutal Death Metal
10 songs (29:56)
Release year: 2020
Beneath The Massacre, Century Media
Reviewed by Goat

Eight years after their previous full-length, Quebecois death metal machine Beneath the Massacre returns to complete the destruction of humanity. And do so in almost flawless fashion, a sub-thirty minute album (the band's shortest, although none of the others are much beyond half hour lengths) that launches torrent after torrent of brutality without mercy. The band straddle subgenres quite well, mostly brutal death but with facets of technical death and even some deathcore in their mutant DNA, and having been around since 2004 meaning they have plenty of experience, which comes across from even the slightest exposure to their music. Keeping much the same line-up all these years helps, too; aside from new drummer Anthony Barone (Shadow of Intent, live for Babymetal, etc) Dennis and Chrisopher Bradley remain on bass and guitar, alongside vocalist Elliot Desgagnés.

And they form an impressively tight unit when it comes to the simple task of kicking your eardrums in, something done so well that it's easy to ignore how repetitive and even monotonous the music can be. Aside from obvious standout moments like the electronic oddness during the extended breakdown on Autonomous Mind or the ambient outro to Return to Medusa, there aren't many memorable sections to songs here which seem to have the same formula - roared guttural vocals, technical widdly guitar-tapping, blasting drums, and so on. Which is fair enough, because the band's prime directive is brutality, and it's handed out in spades here. Yet give Fearmonger some time to settle and enough listens and some sort of sense starts to emerge from the chaos.

Part of this is down to the guitars, which weave melodic trills and squeals around the central chugging storm of heaviness, always doing something to catch your attention. Brief bursts of solos erupt here and there (Rise of the Fearmonger, for example) to give short breaks from the maelstrom, which is otherwise near-constant, but not without its own grandiose moments - Hidden in Plain Sight having a touch of older Fleshgod Apocalypse epicness to it, a late-track breakdown and slight tempo shift-down all the better for it. Such a short album full of short songs will inevitably mean that it's hard to let moments breathe; indeed, much longer and the album would collapse under its own weight. So it's fortunate that the band at least try and keep things interesting with moments like the breakdown in Treacherous, or that aforementioned electronic interference on Autonomous Mind, together with some more expansive leadwork probably amongst the album's best pieces as a result. True, not everyone will like this, even amongst death metal fans. A little more variety would make Fearmonger far more well-rounded and easier to recommend, but then that would diminish the impact of the aural beating that this album hands out. For masochistic types!

Killing Songs :
Hidden in Plain Sight, Autonomous Mind, Return to Medusa
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Beneath The Massacre that we have reviewed:
Beneath The Massacre - Mechanics of Dysfunction reviewed by Dylan and quoted 80 / 100
Beneath The Massacre - Evidence of Inequity reviewed by Jason and quoted no quote
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