Megaton Leviathan – “Past 21 And Beyond The Arctic Cell” Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Drone music is becoming more and more of a sub-genre in the metal world. Bands like Earth have been releasing the style for the entirety of their career. The added blend of post-rock has been favored by a few new black metal bands, almost entirely defining Post-Black Metal into the world. It’s a style of calm, cleanly music gorgeously intertwined with ominous presences. The world of metal does not have to be ear shattering anymore, and that is exactly what an album like Past 21 And Beyond The Arctic Cell by Megaton Leviathan proves.

I could easily go on to create an extended metaphor or how large this four track full length is in regards to the band’s name. For all intensive purposes, I will go ahead and say it in simpler terms. This album is a leviathan. A terrifying monster of well placed melodies only seeming to grow and grow as more instruments join the mix. The doom impending beginning of the beginning track “Past 21′ ascends into a well grouped mix of cooing synths and discordant motifs. As the song takes off into the middle section, multiple instruments phase about, whining in a delicate and soft manner. The drums slightly make their mark, keeping a sullen pace and adding to the depth of emotion.

Not only are there multiple instruments in the mix, but adding to the mesh of beauty is the middle eastern influenced sounds of ‘The Foolish Man.’ This only showcases how far the band will go to create a freshening experience. Not to mention the eerie vocals recalling the feeling of some forgotten chant. They are placed at a level nearly defining them as unintelligible, but their mood will not be misplaced. It helps keep the song at that droning pace, slightly giving it a push to continue forward. 

And if ‘Arctic Cell’ does not add the feeling of impending doom through the heavy pulses of distortion, I do not know what else will. The pulses increase as the song reaches its climax, building on a slow and creepy chug as dings mark the march forward. The call comes with the feedback and echoes of phase shifters until the octave drops and the industrial feel collapses on the whole calming idea. But as if to save the fall into darkness, the vocals make a soft reappearance to add light and texture. 

The entire album settles on a more traditional song, ‘Here Comes The Tears.’ After the softly strummed introduction and more distinct vocals, the song explodes with distortion and crying leads. As the final note comes to be struck, the distortion growls into the ever impending doom of drones. 

This album is not for everyone, it’s as obscure as it is beautiful. Upon first listen, someone could in fact call this boring. But it’s the texture that makes this album feel alive. It’s the massive mesh of melodies being brought by a multitude of instruments to in fact call this entire project one big monster entitled Past 21 And Beyond The Arctic Cell, brought to you by Megaton Leviathan.

– Sean