most of the times there is a specific moment when an album wins me: it could be everything and everywhere. Speaking of Superbeast, the aptly titled debut by stoner/doom quartet Megatherium (from Verona), it was at 1’24”, when the first riff of the first track, after the atmospheric intro, punched me directly in the face. It’s a huge «hand riff» (as opposed to the «finger riff»), all about heaviness, rhythm and weight. And from that moment on everything was better and better.
Let’s have a quick look of what I liked about Superbeast.
- Why not start with the cover? So let’s start with the cover: nothing too special, but very good.
- Then the general mood, the album as a whole, as a proposition, the way it is played, with relaxed confidence, deriving from the precise knowledge of their abilities, and still with enough urgency and need, with no distraction in any of its part. Not just one single drop of tension.
- The sound (the guitar tone): big and good, hulky and dragging down.
- The riffs, of course: so many riffs, high-tonnage riffs, breaking-back riffs, stone-handed riffs…
- No splinters of the ‘Italian singing tradition’, which could be a real problem even for a heavy metal band – not the case, good, very good.
- A really nice taste for details, the little things you noticed behind the waves of heavy – effects, echoes, kicks, slides, and saturations.
- The way the drums, here and there, broke my neck.
So, there’s nothing I didn’t like? Actually there is just one regret: they had a fantastic coda ad libitum (in Slow Down), and they cut it short. If they asked me, I’d say to go on for at least ten minutes…
Yours heavily, mp