Beneath the Massacre Like a Challenge
Published Feb 27, 2012"The day we feel bored by our own songs is the day we're going to be done," says Elliot Desgagnés, frontman for Montréal, QC technical death metal band Beneath the Massacre. "Playing this music is what's fun."
For over seven years, Beneath the Massacre have been making their own modern brand of tech-death, featuring intricate song structures and instrumental complexity. They have taken influences from Québécois bands of the sub-genre before them like Cryptopsy and Gorguts, and have added their own unique, contemporary twist, while preserving extreme metal's vocal brutality, heavy rhythms and dark concepts.
The band's third full-length, Incongruous, is the latest in their constantly progressing musical repertoire and they took their time with this one. Four years after their previous critically-acclaimed Dystopia, the new record includes more overtly complicated songwriting and fast-paced guitar work, as well as unorthodox time signatures, song structures and tempos. The result is Beneath the Massacre's most instrumentally demanding effort to date.
"We're still trying to nail the songs live because they're really, really fucking hard to play," Desgagnés laughs. "As a technical band, we need to stay relevant somehow, we can't be writing the same album. We're always staying Beneath the Massacre, but the bottom line is that for this one, we really wanted to drop jaws, technicality-wise and aggressive-wise. These are some of the most difficult songs we've ever written."
Although Incongruous is musically strenuous on the band, Desgagnés maintains that Beneath the Massacre will continue to write elaborate, technical death metal. "We're grownups, we have other responsibilities, so we don't get together and play music if it's going to be easy and boring to play; it has to be a challenge," he says. "Sometimes we have to stop and rethink a part of a song and figure out how we can make it work, or sound better, and we try to perfect it. That's fun for us, that's the whole thing."
Desgagnés says Beneath the Massacre's sound is a constant evolution, there's a method to their madness and their songs are "not hard and technical just for the sake of being hard and technical." The band have been working towards a more complex sound since their inception and Desgagnés explains that it's been more of a natural progression, rather than a conscious decision.
"It's never been a choice, like 'Oh, we want to change this and that.' It's just that, it's been seven years of us playing this music as Beneath the Massacre, and we're just always getting better, the musicians in the band are getting better, and our songwriting is getting better," he says.
"We're getting closer to that sound we've always wanted from album to album. With Incongruous, when it was done, I felt like we were really, really close to, I would call it satisfaction. That still means there's room for improvement. But I think the next album is going to have to be even crazier, or else we'll be finished."