Beneath the Massacre is a death metal band from Canada with strong technical elements, an unrelenting approach musically and an ability to layer sound with the best in the genre. The 2012 album Incongruous is the bands third full length album, and is released on Prosthetic Records. Incongruous starts heavy and fast, and pretty much stays that way throughout it’s entirety. The best way to describe Incongruous is to try and think of death metal with a greatly sped up Gothenburg metal streak that has been given an adrenaline shot by a hypodermic made of technical metal.
Elliot Desgagnés growls the vocals, and he does an excellent job of doing pretty much one thing, and luckily he does that one thing really well. Guttural growls, near perfect timing in terms of fitting in with a maniacal band, and a sense of vocal rhythm add to his writing which make the fact that his vocals have only one basic aspect work well for Beneath the Massacre. Lyrically this is pretty standard death metal, nothing unexpected but at the same time nothing that is too overly ridiculous or inane. There are some samples and vocal effects present, for example at the end of Left Hand, but they typically work as intros and outros and are not over used. Guitar work is handled by the very competent Christopher Bradley. Bradley can shred with the best of them in terms of soloing, but his greatest talent is how he seamlessly works with his band-mates to create a juggernaut (bitch) of sound that is a never ending assault on the ears. The guitars on Incongruous do an excellent job of blending the aggressive with the technical, and though they follow a somewhat formulaic path at times they are such quality work that it’s not really an issue if one is a fan of the genre and appreciates the interplay between them and the other instruments. Dennis Bradley plays the bass on Incongruous, and he is a monster. The bass is seen by many as a bridge between the guitar and the drums, and when your guitarist and drummer are both off the rails in terms of technical skill and speed, that can be a challenge. Bradley type D handles this very well. The bass production is actually quite good and most all of what Dennis Bradley plays is as audible as it is kick ass. This is sort of rare in the metal world, which is a shame as a bassist like Dennis Bradley adds a lot to a band. One very strong example of the excellent bass work on Incongruous can be heard on the track Light. Justin Rousselle is the drummer who pulls it all together for Beneath the Massacre. The drums are integral to music like this, they are they lynchpin that makes the riffs, the melodies and the bass all make sense. Rousselle is over the top at times, but it fits perfectly with the rest of the band and what they are clearly trying to accomplish on Incongruous. A master musician, Rousselle is the perfect counterpart to the Bradleys (both) as well as Desgagnés.
When you first fire up Incongruous, it might be tempting to dismiss it as too similar, too of a piece, too congruous in fact, and there is some validity to that, however there is so much going on musically beneath the surface that to do that would be a mistake. Beneath the Massacre have created a brutal technical death metal album that is layered with shred, like the best burrito you’ve ever eaten. Fans of death and technical death metal should definitely check this out. Give it a few spins and let it sink in for the full effect.