CTRL signals the Austrian Death Metal bands fifth studio album release, indeed, it is more or less, four years since the previous album ‘Dust’ came to light, an album that did no harm at all in cementing the bands reputation as one of , if not, the, hardest hitting exponents of Metal that their homeland has produced.
As long a gap as four years between albums, can often be a bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand, the band have obviously had plenty of time to develop the albums sound and character as well as improve the overall sound, which is a lot punchier and indeed darker than its predecessor. The risk on the flip side of course, is that, with so much time gone by, and indeed, in today’s overcrowded and saturated market, all the good groundwork done with the previous albums, potentially, could become a distant memory in the minds of a number of Metal fans.
Where this album stands out in particular however, is in the way the band have gelled all the collective tracks into a singular unit, so to speak, I hesitate to use the dreaded phrase ’concept album’ but you do get that feeling. The whole album revolves around the image and portrayal of technology becoming the globes ruling force, and the struggle to control that force, resulting in society’s collapse and demise.
Opening track ’Controlled Collapse’ is a stormer to start things off with, Maggo Wenzel’s harsh, brutal and unrelenting vocal style, seeps aggression like an open wound, backed by some seriously hard hitting riffs, the power never dropping below the red line. ’Cause and Effect’, a track that features some excellent, machine gun pace drumming, delivered with a high level of technical precision, is another song that really hit’s the highs.
The production is clean and slick, having been mixed by Mike Kronstorfer, who lists another cracking band in Illdisposed amongst his credits. A dark and industrial vibe hangs in the air over most of the tracks as well, adding to the theme of the album , bringing songs such as the gloriously heavy ,albeit short, ’Hyper-Detection 2.0’ and ‘The Vortex Within’ to the fore.
This most definitely is not an album for the faint hearted, each track coming across as crushingly powerful as the preceding one, and therefore, may not offer anything particularly new to the scene but what it does smack of, is quality, and that can be sadly lacking in releases from some of Mastic Scum’s contemporaries. Album closer, and my own personal favourite ’Resurrection’, encapsulates all that is good about this band, uncompromising, hard hitting, addictive Death Metal that is hard to fault, well recommended.
1. Controlled Collapse
3. Cause & Effect
7. Perceptive Illusion
8. Hyper-Detection 2.0
10. The Vortex Within
Mastic Scum are;
Maggo Wenzel – Vocals
Harry Gandler – Guitars
Alexander Schmid – Bass
Man Gandler – Drums
Out now via Massacre Records