Review:”Demons or Someone Else” by Montecharge

Formed in Geneva Switzerland, Montecharge are a quartet with passion for heavy music with Vocalist Quentin Bocquel is joined by David Gerber who handles synthesizers and noise machines, drummer Edward Hay and guitarist Wladislas Marian. While “Demons of Someone Else” is their debut album, they have been releasing material and playing live together for almost a decade at this point, including a 10″ self titled EP in 2012. Recorded and mixed by Thierry Van Osselt (Kruger, Velma) before Mastering by Lad Agabekov at Caduceus Mastering (Nostromo, Maxence Sibille), the album has been a long time in the making and the band cite some very diverse influences including Brutal Truth, Godflesh, Gorguts and The Mars Volta.

Straight out of the traps like a Greyhound chasing a Rabbit, Montecharge dive straight into the title track of the album “Demons Or Someone Else“, a ripper of an Industrial tinged Metallic Hardcore cut with the energy of Everytime I Die and the atmosphere of Harmed. The key is the electronics which are well blended into the mix and add to each element of the sound. “Divine Arrows” builds upon that dynamic with complex underpinnings that creep and crawl in the background and give something else to tune into over multiple listens while “Encircle The Earth” has a nervous intensity to it. The chaotic feel to the opening tracks continues throughout, giving the album an edgy raw feel and the fact that guitarist Wladislas Marian started out a bassist is intriguing because it has definitely had an impact creatively on some of the off kilter riff ideas. There is also the distinct impression that this band may have begun as a Grindcore trio in the dim and distant past with “Winds & Waves” which has sections of that familiar style in between slabs of riffing and some eerie background noises that create the sonic texture of a future as depicted in Blade Runner. There isn’t the oppressive atmospheric of a small room recording here which it could have benefited from (maybe that is something for a future release?) but the angular, juddering guitar work is as mesmerizing as it is heavy.

Atone II” comes before “Atone I” and brings with it some programmed drum patterns and post Metal riffs as a short instrumental slowdown before “Cernes profondes“, the French for “Dark Cirles” gallops over the horizon with a depressed and yet energetic soundscape. A longer track, it has a darker almost Stone Sludge vibe to it but with Math Rock patterning that brings back memories of the likes of “Challenger” from Knut. The title of “Oreste” comes from Greek Mythology and translates as “one who can conquer mountains” which is ironic because it’s complex layering rhythmic patterns must make Montecharge’s rhythm section feel like they’ve been climbing them at rapid pace, such is the staccato rush and use of odd time signatures. Providing breathing space “Atone I” is a slower ambient instrumental cleanser while “Atone III” starts off like an industrial off cut before some bright acoustic guitar work offers respite. Going full throttle with the push-me, pull-you of “Protagonists / Antagonists” sees Montecharge roaring back to their chaotic finest with some ear splitting vocals from Bocquel which has some Noise Metal leanings and Will Haven esq oppression before “Wolves II” takes a scythe to the field and cuts it’s own path with the trippy drum machine and swathes of downtuned riffs creating sludgy noise that sum up the album to perfection [7.5/10]

Track listing

1. XVIII. Demons Or Someone Else
2. XIV. Divine Arrows
3. XIII. Encircle The Earth
4. XV. Wind & Waves
5. Atone II
6. XVI. Cernes profondes
7. XVII. Oreste
8. Atone I
9. Atone III
10. XIX. Protagonists / Antagonists
11. XX. Wolves II

Demons or Someone Else” by Montecharge is out now and available over at bandcamp

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