Megalodon offers a unique alternative to the long-standing South African sausage-machine production. Falling under a unique genre, their debut album, Darkness in Sonance, offers plenty of variation throughout ten songs, dictating almost an hour of metaphorical terror within a tightly constructed package. Megalodon‘s ability to perform spectacular live shows coins them as one of South Africa’s trump cards!
The eight-string guitars, supplemented with fitting bass delivers an innovative sound of fat blasts – If I limit myself to a single (all too single) description of the guitar section, it is a demonic front to the album. Darkness in Sonance contain varying drum and vocal use that enhances the chaotic feel of the music. The vocals enthrall your ears with demanding lyrics, which is a unique feature on the album. Overall, the album delivers an exceptional array of sounds.
The opening track, “Symbiology”, provides a powerful start to the album. The captivating intro flows comfortably into the verse, chugging through a bridge, ascending to the demonic climax of the chorus. The chorus swaying with the lyrics of “spread; spread the seeds, deadly seeds, the seeds of their deception”. Following the terrific pace, “Tempest” has a dark, foreboding tone that presents itself throughout the entire song. A violent and erratic bridge escalates to the powerful, capstone lyric of “I feed the tempest fury!”. Accompanied by interesting drum arrangements, the song delivers a metaphorical theatre-piece where everyone dies a tragic death.
“Dual Vision Triple Sonic”‘s unconventional patterns alters my traditional acceptance of what a fast riff sounds like. The cunning use of unconventional patterns is a distinctive feature of Megalodon‘s music. The chorus contains epic guitar bends that make for an interesting transition to the next verse. The next song, “Cessation”, has fast drum variations of a superior standard and there is also a good use of left/right balance at the verse. The chorus states a dramatic confession: “I am a god among men. I am the truth amongst death. I am a husk of a former man, I am law of consciousness”. The heart-stopping licks contained in “Cessation” are an example of what makes the album unique. “Umbilical Embroidery’s” chorus makes use of an interesting vocal technique by combining the line “Conceiving your false Utopia” with a subtle background echo of “Delivering my verve”. The outro embeds slow-paced vocals to create a tense ambience.
“I.D.K.F.A.”‘s drum patterns contains machine-like variations and the chilling vocals make for a superb track, switching between a fast and a slow pace, it is definitely the highlight of the album for me. Unfortunately a critique is that the outro of “I.D.K.F.A.” creates an intro for the next song. Thus, the last minute of “I.D.K.F.A.” contains samples that create a delayed flow to the title-track, “Darkness in Sonance”, a nine-minute song that by default demands perseverance. I think they should have put the last minute of “I.D.K.F.A”. in the next song or they should perhaps have left it out, because I feel it chokes the pace of the album. Nonetheless, four minutes into “Darkness in Sonance” the song takes shape and flawlessly streams into the solo. The last minute and a half still displaying crafty variations that create a lasting image.
“Beyond Within” continues the demonic pace in proportion to the rest of the album, containing numerous variations that create an energetic feel. “Omnipresent Authority Figure” provides more variation to the album with a groovy sound; mixing stabs of noise with more chugging sections. Rounding off the album, “The Unexpected” ends with a blast.
Darkness in Sonance demands more than one listen to appreciate fully, most observably because the shortest of songs are longer than 3:30. In my opinion, it is a metal album of international standards! Louis (guitarist, songwriter and Burning Tone sound engineer) deserves praise from the gods for making the album so tight that your sphincter pleads for recess.
Stream “Dual Vision Triple Sonic” off Darkness in Sonance below: