Monday 6 October 2014

Megaton Leviathon - Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell (Album Review)

Album Type:  Full Length
Label:  Seventh Rule Records
Date Released:  9/9/2014

Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell” CD/DD/LP track listing:

1). Past 21 (13:04)
2). The Foolish Man (08:44)
3). Arctic Cell (12:41)
4). Here Come the Tears (08:29)

The Band:

Andrew James Costa | Guitars, bass, vocals, Synthesizers, effects, sound loops.


Perhaps one of the greatest names ever dreamed up in the world of heavy music, Megaton Leviathan's second album “Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell” is a monolithic sonic achievement. Beginning with the longest track “Past 21” that slowly expands a mind expanding slow burn vamp. Atmospheric oscillations spiral into the distance as the dreamland vocals kick in. Once the bass and distortion turn up it rises out of the wavelike layers perfectly. The mid-song guitar solo is suitably verbed, spacey and shockingly tasteful, even elegant in scope and execution. There's some either spacey key work later on or some very nice orchestral wind instrument playing. I'm assuming keys but it’s difficult to tell and yet it sounds great, particularly during the final coda section which is very nicely arranged.

Sitar! Beginning with some trippy sitar playing, the second track “The Foolish Man” begins with some really unusual feel as the sitar swirls the rhythm section and has a slightly ominous slow vamp while the guitar pings some Mogwain post-rock leads. This track really reminds me of Ufomammut once the vocals kick in with the oscillating background sounds, except Megaton Leviathan isn't nearly as harsh on the distortion and has more of a post-rock or 70s psych influence and not quite as metal.

As the 3rd track “Arctic Cell” begins it does not vamp and starts pretty much right off the bat with vocals and some more cool guitar work. Coalescing into a doomy section just before the three minute mark, at this point in the album this simpler type of riff is completely unexpected and breaks up the song nicely. The later bridge section with feedback howls over a slow guitar chug, a pretty awesome segue into one of the better recorded fuzz basses I've heard in a crushing slow riff.

Closing out the album “Here Come the Tears,” starts with a minimalist beginning of just drums, bass, guitar, and voice leaving a lot of space in between the notes. This track has a bit of a modern Pink Floyd feel, more so than the rest of the tracks especially with it's gradual build-up and very nice transitions. An epically huge wah-verbed guitar breaks out around the halfway point is also pretty cool.

The production is very well done and all the instruments can clearly be heard and have nice separation when needed and mesh well when needed as well. I particularly like how nice the bass tone is, as primarily a bassist myself, I always like to here it perfectly mixed and AUDIBLE. In addition, the name of the album really does describe the sound presented here. The swirling dense layers really do summon the feel of the cold winds out on the tundra and I would say this is definitely a winter car trip album. Check it out below.

Words by: Chris Tedor

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