Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Satanic Dystopia - Double Denim Shotgun Massacre

Rockin' Death Thrash is apparently a real thing, I guess. I remember getting promos of stuff a while back about bands being Death-n-Roll. I guess somewhere along the line it was only inevitable that somewhere would arise a band that firmly mixes the death metal with the thrash and presents it with rock-and-roll flair and accents. Perhaps the best example of Satanic Dystopia's overall style is "Black Stallion," which rides a few riffs that are structured with an emphasis on catchiness and hooks. The usage of basic full measures of strummed chord progressions with stoner-rock rhythmic propensities appears often on Double Denim Shotgun Massacre, another No Visible Scars tape in a DVD case which knows how to piss me off by popping open if I don't rubber band it shut. Overall though, perhaps that little misery plays into how the band comes across. Fumbling with a case because you're anal about your music is exactly what Satanic Dystopia aren't. They provide the soundtrack to tapes lost under the seats of your hand-me-down 1970's station wagon with no heat, that was the only way to get to scuzzy shows in seedy bars.

Satanic Dystopia has some cool stuff on here, mostly revolving around a strong transition game. The ability to switch from death thrash into juiced up Motorhead inspired hooks is one of the strong points. Different riffs never seem out of place, even when the band is leaping headlong into stripped down hardcore punk beats. Opening the release, a long intro about 'the power of darkness' sparks the furious riffage of the self titled track. It's a strong start. The album never lets up save for the introduction to final and eponymous track Satanic Dystopia which is prefaced by a wonderful piano piece similar to Chopin's Nocturne in E Minor with a settled layer of gritty crust over it. It's a stark contrast. The album elsewhere does not share the sadness and tragedy of the moment's melody. It is one of the few places where transition is ignored. The track simply proceeds ahead full speed. It works though. Because elsewhere everything flows so seamlessly, it is an obvious disregard here. It mimics, in a way the opening track moves from the intro to the meat of the album. Perhaps, this piano piece would have fit ever-so-slightly better as a finale to the track instead of a preamble. Vocally, the album is nothing worth telling friends about however the screamed vocals we've heard so many times aren't all that bad, even if they are the dictionary definition of predictable. They sound similar to a Van Drunen in rasp.

As is common on releases such as this, the central part of the album runs a bit together, even if the songs are individually very good. Little distinguishable character exists between them. At times doomier parts poke through but it doesn't make the songs more memorable. Satanic Dystopia in general have a nice foundation here but need to work on pacing their songs to stand out from each other more. As it stands, it's tough to think back and remember any particular moments. I think back to a review I did a while ago for Astrum's Tales of Witchlore and I think of how similar this and that are in style but where Astrum was boring and snailish in energy, Satanic Dystopia are passionate and excited. That little amount of extra gusto makes a big difference here. Today, at work, I was directed to throw extra Christmas product into the trash compactor to be destroyed. This album is similar in feeling to that: It was nice while it lasted, and I enjoyed the season but it's time to pack it in and move on. These tracks will probably sound stronger when they come up in a shuffle or on random, where they can stick out amongst other tracks.

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