Mastic Scum - Dust

12 songs
42:09 minutes
***** ***


The Austrian metal scene may not have spawned that many bands that made it big outside the picturesque Alps republic, but Pungent Stench and Belphegor did more than a good job as ambassadors of extreme music. Mastic Scum, although active for already nearly two decades, somehow had a hard time getting out of the shadow of these two established bands, but the fact that they have recently been nominated for an Austrian music award should make us prick our ears.

Dust is Mastic Scum’s fourth longplayer and should leave no doubts about their exquisite qualities. Recorded by legendary producer Andy Classen (Tankard, Disbelief), the twelve featured songs leave nothing to chance with their extremely powerful sound. Combining brutal death metal with the relentless speed of the grindcore genre, the Austrian quartet sounds like a war machine from the very first notes on. The guitars add an occasional psychotic quality that help give the band their signature sound. The vocals are deep and mean, full of evil intent, yet never relying to hysterical scream orgies. The rhythm section plays tight as a clockwork, at an elevated pace that makes you wonder how the drummer can survive a session without the risk of an imminent heart attack.

One thing’s certain: Mastic Scum don’t have to hide anymore behind the two aforementioned better known bands, and even though Dust may not just yet have the potential for cult album, it is doubtlessly one of the more pleasant surprises to emerge from the extreme metal world. The forty minute long album is entertaining throughout, even if those rare memorable standout tracks are missing. This doesn’t alter the fact that the band has come up with one of the most brutal pieces of metal that I have come across in a long time.

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