Megasus
"Megasus"

(20 Buck Spin 2009)Megasus - Megasus

What happens when a bunch a guys who work at the company responsible for Rock Band and Guitar Hero get together to make real, actual metal? Megasus is what happens. Some of the fellows gainfully employed by Harmonix, presumably wanting a break from dumbing down music into code so that it can be played with a switch and some buttons (no, mastering Guitar Hero is in NO WAY harder than mastering a real guitar with strings. If you genuinely believe it is, lay in front of a bus), set about to make straightforward, no suffix-attached, no BS metal.

Megasus take a vaguely old-school approach to metallurgy, but aren't anywhere nearly as consciously retro as The Sword and others of that ilk. This not only allows the band to dodge the dreaded "hipster" and "false" tags, but affords them a larger scope of songwriting. "Megasus" is riff oriented, but not riff dominated; just as important as Ryan Lesser's granite-crumbling guitar work are the bricklaying beats of drummer Brian Gibson and Jason Kendall's paint-peeling yowl. The band fuses their elements into a loose but focused unit that switches up dynamics from song to song, to great effect. So shifting from the full-speed-ahead title track's unhinged rumbling, punctuated by Kendall's stuttering delivery of the chorus, to the more deliberate slow-burning fuse approach of "Swords," is typical of how the whole album plays out.

Megasus clearly went about making a record without pretension or expectation of success. And on those fronts, they most definitely succeeded, almost to a fault. For all its unvarnished brawn, "Megasus" also could use a few kicks in the ass; there are instances where the band seems to have a laissez-faire attitude, at the expense of tightening up and nailing down the songs. Even considering that, it's still a well put together album, especially for a debut. If you like your metal with no irony or hipsterisms, this one's for you.

B+

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