'At The Plateaus Of Leng'
'At The Plateaus Of Leng' is one of many of the offerings that the death Metal community can look forward to this year from the one-man death Metal machine, Rogga Johansson, from one of the more unusual of his many projects, Megascavenger.
Megascavenger consists at the core of just Rogga Johansson on guitar, vocals and bass along with Brynjar Helgetun on drums but with a broad array of guest vocalists, including Martin van Drunen, Kam Lee, Dave Rotten and death Metal vocal legend Dave Ingram.
'At The Plateaus Of Leng' is Megascavenger's second full length offering, hot on the heels of 2012s full length 'Descent Of Yuggoth' and EP 'Songs Of The Flesh (pt1)' and is massive slab of crushing brutality, awash with rampaging riffs and breaks, but what makes it so interesting is this huge input from eight different vocalists over the nine tracks, the final one covered by the inimitable and ubiquitous Rogga himself.
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I do have favourites amongst these tracks, it's impossible not to with such a broad vocal selection; often the deciding element on how much a track will appeal to the individual, particularly in my case as I am so picky about vocals.
In 'At The Plateaus Of Leng' (vocals by Dave Ingram of Bolt Thrower/Benediction) there are the vaguest of hints of Bolt Thrower but it goes way beyond this, a superb opening track and one of my favourites. Dave's vocals cut through you like a chainsaw through flesh.
Another top track with me is 'The Festered Earth' (vocals by Kam Lee of Massacre, The Grotesquery) with stunning psychedelic keyboards and haunting opener breaking into dirty riffs before the arrival of Kam's brutal vocals; his roar defies the laws of nature. I found the chorus a tiny bit bizarre but I don't care, Kam's superb vocals seriously override that minor element.
'And Then The Death Sets In' (vocals by Aad Kloosterwaard of Sinister) is a slow, dark and sinister track, opening on a powerful spoken element and the ensuing vocals from Aad rip the flesh from your face. It's topped of with wonderfully haunting repeat riffs and is another superb track.
'The Mucus Man' (vocals by Martin Van Drunen of Asphyx/Hail Of Bullets) is an up tempo, a mix of reflective riffs and wonderfully tortuous vocals.
'Like Comets Burn The Ether' (vocals by Dave Rotten of Avulsed) another up tempo face ripper, superb vocals and classically styled Rogga riffs while 'When Death Kills The Silence' (vocals by Felix Stass of Crematory) is a sinister and superb track with a mix of English and non English vocals which add an extra dimension.
'The Hand Of Bereavement' (vocals by Ilkka Jarvenpaa of National Napalm Syndicate) is sadly the only track I didn't like. The vocal style just didn't float my goat, but there is nothing wrong with the overall composition.
'Back To The Ancient' (vocals by Brynjar Helgteun of Crypticus) brutal and sinister, with dirty catchy riff patterns, a delight to my ears and 'Night Of The Grand Obscenity' (vocals by Rogga Johansson) is a mix of psychedelic elements, guitar blasts and haunting segments, with Rogga taking a different vocal slant than he has used on 'Ribspreader' and 'Paganizer', showing how versatile he is with his vocal capabilities as well as with his guitar work and compositions. A superb album ender.
The album was recorded at the Rotpit and various other rotting places and mixed and mastered by B Helgetun at studio Brainjar. The artwork and layout is by Turkka G Rantanen (Demilich, Demigod, Zealotry, etc).
This is a superb album and a great opportunity to hear a broad selection of Scandinavian death Metal in one album; this gives a whole new, refreshing slant on the concept of a compilation album.