Thursday 25 May 2023

Megatheria - Gateway (Album Review)

Release Date: May 26th 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: CD/DD

Gateway: Tracklisting


Glass Mantis





Gateway is the debut album from Instrumental Post-Metal outfit Megatheria. The band fuses aggressive and progressive leaning slabs of Instrumental Post-Metal that draws upon the greats of the scene such as ISIS, Russian Circles, Pelican and BOSSK. I would say Megatheria play a similar style of music to Pelican mostly but allow themselves to add a more Psychedelic and Spacier sound on their debut album.

The album contains five tracks with Megatheria playing an almost different style of Post-Metal for each of the individual tracks which does contain some moments of Ambient Post-Rock in places. There's an Atmospheric Sludge groove that allows Megatheria to become heavier and more distinctive within the early stages of the album especially on the excellent opening song Gateway.

Gateway offers a diverse style of subtle Psychedelic themes which merge into a classic style of Post-Metal with the band having an ISIS (The Band) creative narrative even without any vocals appearing. The sound is quite harsh in tone but also very melodic in the more heavier parts of the track. The instrumental work is impressive and makes for essential listening when Megatheria's tone becomes more abstract that offers a swirling AMBIENT based sound.

Second song Glass Mantis opens with a beautifully played 70's sounding Prog Rock guitar that merges into a more alternative Post-Rock flavour. Subtle hints of Psychedelic Rock and Doom Rock combine for an engaging and highly melodic style that have a certain Russian Circles charm to them. The atmosphere is quite brooding and unforgiving when Megatheria return to their heavier ways. The album needs that change of creative direction to allow Megatheria to prove their Post-Metal credentials. Though, the sludgy undergrooves are wonderfully pulled back and unleashed when the Post-Rock themes have built up a steady rhythm for the band to expertly demolish on the later stages of the track. There's also a lush sounding Post-Stoner effect that appears within this song which Megatheria only use when they absolutely need to.

Third song Bathysphere continues the QUIET vs LOUD dynamic of the previous song but brings a Distorted atmosphere to the party which can be quite DRONE based. However, Megatheria opt to deliver their Sludge/Post-Metal grooves with more aggression and precision for some of the catchiest and heaviest parts of the album. Maybe not as progressive as the other tracks on the album but one with the best riffs on show. The moments of Distorted Feedback and Guitar Reverb can be uncompromising at times but remains an essential part of the album.

Fourth song Hibernation is the standout track on the album with Megatheria offering a song that runs past the ten minutes mark. Subtle flashes of Psych Rock, Post-Rock and Stoner Rock lead the way for the first few moments with hints of Doom, Sludge and Post-Metal being kept wisely in the background. A haunting style of Ambient sounds offers a more Spaced Out feeling. The heavier Post-Metal grooves take up a big chunk of time for this track and become the most exciting parts of the album. The track can be very multi-layered with the different movements Megatheria lay down for this track alone. I also admire the slower delivery that the band plays on this song. As it allows the listener to be drawn into the whole creative environment that Gateway offers from start to finish.

Final song Memorial allows the band to close the album off in style with their highly anthemic sounds which draws upon the classic era of Post-Metal when Pelican and Russian Circles were making themselves known. The music is more direct and engaging here with Megatheria leaving the Post-Rock sounds behind for a truly exciting finish. The mood is more Sludge based with even subtle hints of Mastodon appearing. 

Gateway is a richly observed and complex sounding album full of outstanding production values that throws a light to the classic "HEY-DAY" of Post-Metal. Megatheria also explore and introduce Modern Day themes which ultimately build up to a more refreshing and highly original style to make themselves known with. 

This is a stunning and wholly brilliant album that fans of  Post-Metal should fully get behind. Megatheria has the talent and vision to go a long way within the Underground Post-Metal Scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Megatheria for the promo.

Gateway will be available to buy on CD/DD from Friday May 26th 2023.


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