Tuesday 5 December 2023

Megaton Leviathan - Magick Helmet (Album Review)

Release Date: December 08th 2023. Record Label: Volatile Rock Recordings. Formats: DD

Magick Helmet - Tracklisting

The Final Form Of Nothing Is Final

The Final Form Of Nothing Is Final (A Slight Reprise)

The Belly Of The Beast

Helios Creeds Magick Helmet




Magick Helmet is the new album from Doomgaze/Fuzz/Industrial/Stoner Rockers Megaton Leviathan who return with a new line-up for this album. The sounds are more warped and distorted as ever with creative virtuoso Reuscher handling everything himself compared to 2018's Mage. There is a different Doom/Shoegaze style being adapted for this record alone. As Megaton Leviathan plays long drawn out Psychedelic and Gloomy sounds that's powered by multiple feedback loops, guitar distortion and various pedal effects which can be quite overpowering at times to fully listen to.

Magick Helmet maybe on the Drone Rock/Metal side of life but there's a subtle Doom-Pop guitar energy heard within the lower levels of the whole album. Trippy noise effects and surreal Shoegaze vibes set up the scene within the brilliantly constructed and wildly imaginative opening track The Final Form Of Nothing Is Final. The sound is subversively chaotic but there's a fantastic Stoner Rock/Metal atmosphere that feels like Monster Magnet (TAB era) jamming with bands such as My Bloody Valentine, BONG, HUM and SUNN 0))). 

With a sound that has a never ending presence to it all. The instrumental sounds are constantly moving between Ambient Rhythms and Droned Out Doomgaze energy. The Psychedelic movement of the sludgy guitars has an elevated Progressive appearance which comes roaring into life on the wickedly entertaining second track The Final Form Of Nothing Is Final (A Slight Reprise). The first two tracks are perhaps two tracks broken down into individual chapters. However, Megaton Leviathan offers a song that feels like two different sides of the same coin with how the band deliver their surreal and world-building style of music with devastating Droned & Stoned delivery.

Third track Belly Of The Beast is an eye-watering nineteen minutes plus track with Megaton Leviathan using a storytelling method that has a Jazz Rock and Space Rock attitude with a free-flowing style that draws upon bands such as EARTHLESS and HAWKWIND. There's an aggressive FREAKOUT side to this track with the screeching guitars bringing a more nightmarish gloomy quality to the album whilst retaining a violent gloomy pop sound that bridges the gap between 80's Shoegaze Psychedelics and 90's Alt Rock/Metal experimentation where the heaviness soon changes into warped modern day.sonic experimentation.

Maybe Reuscher was also inspired by the Japanese Psych Rock movement for this album. As if you're a fan of that scene then you'll find much to admire here but then the band find the time to change things once again for a more pulverising and brilliantly aggressive style of music I haven't come across to many times.

The final song of Helios Creeds Magick Helmet offers nearly twenty nine minutes of more SONIC based manipulation, feedback distortion and guitar pedals wizardry for the most outlandish, demented and heaviest track on the album. This track has a more linear structure with Megaton Leviathan playing something that resembles straight forward instrumental jams and swirling psychedelic sounds. There's a slow paced nature that draws eerie close to the 1980's Gothic Rock scene but retains that atmospheric Doom/Stoner Metal energy the album ultimately exceeds in providing. Though, don't be surprised when outbursts of aggressive and fast-paced experimental sounds appear yet again.

Magick Helmet is perhaps the defining album that Megaton Leviathan will become known for. As it's a breathtakingly original record that leaves no stone unturned in providing one of the trippiest and spaced out releases of 2023. I'm hoping the album doesn't get overlooked being released this late in the day as this record has ALBUM OF THE YEAR material written all over it. 

Words by Steve Howe 

Thanks to Holly at C Squared Music for the promo.

Magick Helmet will be available to buy on DD via Volatile Rock Recordings from December 08th 2023.


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