Review by Jason Guest
Independent Release (name your price on Bandcamp)
If there are two bands that have influenced Hungary’s Megazetor, it is Fear Factory and Mastodon. Yet where Fear Factory appears to have been writing the same album since 1995’s Demanufacture, Megazetor are seeking to move on. Their 2008 album, Dying Process wasn’t great. A quick listen to a few tracks and it’s evident that there was something there but they hadn’t quite managed to capture it. Their attempt to fuse industrial rhythms with death metal riffs and progressive elements with frankly awful slap bass (ugh!) was ambitious but inchoate. In the five years since that release, Megazetor have developed significantly and what they were trying to achieve back then has become a reality.
The industrial strength of Fear Factory is still a staple part of their sound but these guys have integrated it more successfully to make it their own, this time around providing a more solid foundation for their Mastodon influence. Simultaneously melodic and abrasive, their riffs are heavy and progressive, each explored and exploited for an abundance of possibilities to give each track a depth and identity of its own. While the vocals on opening track ‘Sandstorm’ could be Burton C Bell and those on ‘Second’ could be Sanders/Hinds/Kelliher, from ‘Healing Process’ onward Megazetor manage to begin pushing beyond imitation into innovation and their own identity comes to the fore. Erdelyi and Kliment’s guitar work is tighter, focussed and still as heavy as fuck; thankfully, bassist Barti has strapped up his slapping thumb to focus on groove; Kliment drums like a machine but one with a soul; and Derzsi’s vocals are dynamically moulded to the needs of each track and the band’s own identity. This time, the music is the core of the band. And while the three live tracks demonstrate a band as adept on stage as on record, the remixes of two tracks from Dying Process are entertaining enough but not really necessary; this band is good enough without them.
Where most bands who wear their influences on their sleeve usually fall foul of becoming nothing more than a pastiche or, at worst, a parody of them, Megazetor are forging their own sound. There’s still a way to go but from what’s here, and after listening to tracks from their last album, 2008’s Dying Process, Megazetor are on the way to producing something incredible. This is what they were trying to do five years ago.
7 out of 10
- Healing Process
- Halfway There
- Traitor of Absence (live in Preili)
- Dying Process (live in Preili)
- Blood and Thunder (Mastodon cover, live in Preili)
- Interform (DJ Baxxter RMX)
- Dying Process (Tranquil remix)