Megascavenger - Songs in the Key of Madness
Xtreem Music
Death Metal
8 songs (28'11")
Release year: 2020
Xtreem Music
Reviewed by Alex

I have a habit for when I get on a death metal kick I tend to stay on it for a while. I may not be in a mood for death metal for a long time, so I avoid its brutality and straightforwardnes in those moments, but then something clicks, a death metal album comes along in my review pile that I tend to like, and I begin to binge re-listening to old records and seeking new albums from the genre in equal measure.

Leave it then to the master of all things old school Swedish death metal, Roger “Rogga” Johansson, to deliver my fix. His quasi-solo project Megascavenger just released a new album Songs in the Key of Madness. Quasi-solo, because as it is often the case with Megascavenger, Rogga handles all the duties with songwriting and musicianship, but then he invites all kinds of guests for their contributions. Early Megascavenger albums had more well-known higher profile guests. Songs in the Key of Madness has guests who are younger (and less known to me), but the effort in that sense is also by a collective. Guitar leads and vocals contributions are again in store.

On display, no surprise, is old school death metal which in a way has a looser and not as brutal feel as say Rogga’s other projects like Putrevore, Paganizer or Ribspreader. The sound is not as bottom heavy and crunchy and Songs in the Key of Madness is more like an old Dismember album. The songs got a little shorter than from the past Megascavenger albums, but there is no presence of industrial keyboard as in As Dystopia Beckons (and it is a good idea). Some tracks are slower and stretch the tempo deliberately (Nothing but the Feet Remains) or only hint at the slowdown (Laboratory Serenades), but mostly this tome slides between prominent familiar riffs, effortless tremolos and crazyneck blaring leads (They Went Mad, The Beckoning of the Rats, Human Sinkhole). A series of growls, barks and vomits substitute for vocals. Many of these songs combine the obvious and deliver hooks galore. My favorites are in The Beckoning of the Rats and Five Severed Fingers, where the sound of drums and guitars join in perfect balance, plus overhanging gore atmosphere in the middle. Nothing but the Feet Remains, which as I mentioned, is a little slower, but also towering.

So while Songs in the Key of Madness is not overproduced or groundbreaking, and it is never meant to be with Megascavenger, it is very much expected and satisfying, and fully served my goal of closing my death metal binge.

Killing Songs :
The Beckoning of the Rats, Five Severed Fingers, Human Sinkhole
Alex quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Megascavenger that we have reviewed:
Megascavenger - Descent of Yuggoth reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
Megascavenger - Songs of Flesh (Part I) reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:52 am
View and Post comments