Mencea – Dark Matter, Energy Noir

Built around the polyrhythmic and challenging nature of Meshuggah’s compositions, “Dark Matter, Energy Noir” displays a skilful and well-structured blend of technical Death-Metal and pummelling Thrash. However, despite the obvious reference it should be mentioned that Mencea don’t delve into excessive technical details and loose the notion of song-craft in the process like sometimes the Swedes get accused of, opting instead for a more streamlined approach not too distant in style with the Swedes’ most recent work “Obzen” and Gojira’s “The Way of all Flesh”.
The Greek collective don’t feel restrained to throw out a more basic, groovy riff when the song demands it, conveying an emphatic immediacy into the songs. Proof of that is the panoply of great hooks scattered throughout these eight themes, and second song “Ardad” for example boasts some incredible and highly memorable guitars harmonies coupled with a subliminal, yet captivating use of keyboard sounds. Swaying from an intensely fast riffing to more a mid-paced, chugging one, “Ardad” is definitely one of the album’s peaks right along with the 9-minutes spanning “When Strife and Greed Collide”, where Mencea unveil a remarkable knack for dynamics and different textures. Elsewhere, both “The Passing” and “Deep in the Under” lean heavily into puzzling Meshuggah-type rhythms, while “Eminence” sees the Greeks embracing a more brutal and vicious path close to Morbid Angel circa “Covenant” days, with a relentless double-kick drumming from Nick Prapas and deep guttural vocalizations provided by singer Andy Giolmas.
It may not be the most original thing that have emerged in recent times, but I’ll be damned of the quality of the song-writing doesn’t make of “Dark Matter, Energy Noir” one of last’s year highlight works.

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