Megaton Leviathan Bio:
It's hard to know what to expect from a band with a name like Megaton Leviathan. You might guess heavy. Probably loud. And you'd be right on both counts, but you probably wouldn't guess that these guys play some sort of super melodic, poppy, and very pretty doom. Or sort of doom. Soft doom? We sure as heck didn't.
But that's pretty much what ML are all about. Even categorizing them as doom doesn't do them justice. The tempos are slow, the mood is doomy, but unlike the typical downtuned sludgery and lumbering slo-mo pummel of most doom combos, these guys infuse their dirges with soaring shimmering clean guitars, the vocals are clean, not howled or grunted, but crooned, bathed in reverb, and draped over the almost ethereal sounding heaviness.
The drums are strange, big and boomy, but they perfectly suit the Nadja-like doom-gaze, the washed out blissy reverbed doom pop, the hazy, gauze-y, space-y doom flecked psychedelia these guys so effortlessly conjure up.
The 19 minute opener is split into two parts, the first half, is a gorgeous dirgey creep, with a melancholy main melody, swirling synth textures, and those moody crooned vox, all stretched out into a glorious bit of space doom dream pop haze, the effects swallowing the instruments up and sending them spinning into the cosmos, woozy, and dreamy and mesmerizing and strangely emotional with some of the best most beautiful hooks you'll ever hear in a 'doom' band.
The second half almost sounds like a dub version of the first, the riffs are stripped away, leaving a glistening filed of layered vocal mantras and electronic effects, the drums spare and abstract, the sound thick and lush and distorted, but blurred and free and swirly and psychedelic, some sort of alien spacedoom ur-drone, the perfect balance for the more riffy bliss of the first half.
After another short track (and by short we mean almost 6 minutes), which is another dirgey crawl, through fields of cloudy effects and smeared electronics, sounding like a modern space doom Codeine, all pretty and melancholy but still dark and heavy, comes the 33+ minute closer, "A Slow Death In D Minor", the whole first half of which sounds like SUNNO))) covering Tangerine Dream, thick downtuned glacial thrum, underpinning, swirling kosmische synths and jangly shimmering clean guitar chords. This could go on forever, and practically does, until about 18 minutes later, the drums come in, and pound out a strange skeletal beat, atop the still drifting buzz and shimmer, buried vocals and muted melodies churn just below the surface, until finally, the sound grows more and more melodic, and what sound like strings surface, and the track is transformed into some sort of chamber doom, until eventually, just the strings are left, to soar dramatically over a barely there layer of crackle and hum, before slipping into silence.
This could definitely be our new favorite doom record, if it didn't feel so wrong to and reductive to call Megaton Leviathan doom. But it's definitely a new favorite, for fans of all things dark and heavy and dreamy and melodic, droney and drifty and pretty and poppy and trance inducing. - Aquarius Records San Francisco