Rising from the primordial seas of the local metal scene is a new band that has recently gained the attention of many. Megalodon is a five-piece, eight-string slinging experimental groove metal band hailing from Cape Town.
Their recent debut show at Metal4Africa’s Summerfest ’12 was highly praised, with a full house of head bangers showing up to see them. I myself was excited to see them perform their polyrhythmic grooves to my eager ears. Megalodon were one of the few bands to get some serious attention and I was very surprised to see the M4A stage area chock-full with an outstanding influx of a crowd. I guess they had gathered a substantial interest through their demo releases.
Since they are most likely the first gigging band to use 8-strings and polyrhythmic grooves, you would be quick to think that they are simply ripping off another band that starts with the letter M. This is certainly not the case because it is clear that they have their own sound and it’s building up a force which cannot be denied. Their sound can be described as thick and laden with “the boomy”, due to the use of what sounds like the bass tuned an octave down from the guitars, as well as heavy power chord usage which most 8-string players avoid; both techniques being quite unconventional.
Megalodon can tick off many boxes which categorise them as a djent band. If you haven’t heard already, on the circuits overseas there is a growing trend some of you might know as “djent” and is what some Meshuggah-esque bands call their genre or sound. Some of these groups just sound like deathcore, while others have a very unique take on the idea-bending genre known as djent.
Djent, is in itself a literal guitar sound as well as being a scene, and many see it as a genre. Meshuggah are seen as the forefathers of this sound and there is a rumour that Fredrik Thordendal (guitarist of Meshuggah) originally coined the term. Although in the USA, a guitarist by the name of Misha “Bulb” Mansoor apparently made the term “djent” ever so popular on the internet. His “djent” band, Periphery, has become extremely successful; at least in the US and European scenes.
The trend started a few years ago, in which an official djent website had spawned and many aspiring home studio owners created and shared their own versions of this kind of metal. The trend is very similar to nu-metal and such things before; it is quite disposable and is creating a huge rise in mediocre one-man projects and boring bands that are trying to coast in this popular trend. Djent is a fun word to throw around; especially when a band is clearly influenced by Meshuggah but it is extremely vague and doesn’t do any band justice as a genre label.
I implore the readers to excuse all that which you have heard before, this local monster known as Megalodon is not just another “djent” band; keep an open mind and be ready for the innovation they bring us. Local metal bands aren’t getting enough of our support as metal fans and a band like this that brings something so fresh to the table needs our support.
Listen to Megalodon’s latest track, “Omnipresent Authority Figure” below and check out their other tracks through their Facebook page