Megalith Levitation / Dekonstruktor - Split

4 songs
37:16 minutes
***** ***
Aesthetic Death

Megalith Levitation page / Dekonstruktor page

Last year, Russian sludge doom trio Megalith Levitation overwhelmed their audiences with their debut album Acid Doom Rites, a nearly eighty-minute journey consisting only of four ultra slo-mo songs. Now they are back with a split album with Dekonstruktor, another sludge doom trio also coming from Russia, and frankly you couldn’t think of two bands matching better in their sonic visions.

The album starts with two tracks from Megalith Levitation, and instead of twenty-minute behemoths, we get somewhat more digestible material. The opener Opium Ceremony feels a bit like a six-minute intro, starting very ritualistically first with drums, then later the bass guitar joins in before a heavily distorted guitar completes the picture. The vocals sound like occult priests chanting to the prince of darkness. This is a nice enough track, mostly building up from nothing to its repetitive melody. Much better is the following Despair, at thirteen minutes a more typical song for these Russians. Considering that sludge doom metal is usually deemed a rather monotonous sound, this track will prove you wrong. There is actually a lot happening here, especially the pace changes early on make for some suspenseful moments and show that Megalith Levitation have really come a long way so early in their career.

The next half belong to Dekonstruktor who also perform two tracks. The first thing I noticed was that the production was slightly less powerful, which robs the music of some of its momentum. The first track Beheaded Horizon begins with a heavily chopped bass melody before the guitar an drums enter, and frankly although I like all instruments the same, I have to say that the bass guitar is too loud in the mix. The vocals also have that conjuring quality, like a much eviller Ozzy Osbourne summoning all the demons form Hell. The second track Magma Pulse fortunately has the bass guitar turned a little down, and I really like the guitar work which can transition from melodic over doomy to strangely distorted by pedal effects.

Fans of slow motion metal should definitely enjoy the tracks by Megalith Levitation, and if not everything has to sound hi-fi all the time, they should also get their kicks out of Dekonstruktor. This is the acoustic equivalent of molasses without the sugar, of course. Combining the darkest components of sludge, doom, stoner and drone metal, these two Russian trios take no prisoners in their approach, and while their music may never reach the mainstream, connoisseurs of the genre will be delighted.

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