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Review: Mega Slaughter - Calls from the Beyond & the Demos
Mega Slaughter
Calls from the Beyond & the Demos

Label: Cryptorium Records
Year released: 2013
Duration: 98:18
Tracks: 19
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: May 16, 2013
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
Calls from the Beyond & the Demos

Rated 4/5 (80%) (8 Votes)

The early-to-mid 90s were interesting and crazy times for Scandinavian underground Death Metal. I won't talk about cult releases like Left Hand Path, Like an Ever Flowing Stream, Into the Grave, Dark Recollections, Soulside Journey, Shadows of the Past, Slumber of Sullen Eyes and so on but some of the less well-known albums like The Ending Guest by Gorement, Across the Horizon by Utumno, Psychostasia by Adramelech, The Awakening by Merciless, In the Embrace of Evil by Grotesque and The Winterlong by God Macabre. One of the rarest Death Metal records from back in the day was Calls from the Beyond from Sweden's Mega Slaughter, which was originally put out by France's Thrash Records as a limited edition vinyl-only release (as all of Thrash Records releases seemed to be at that time). That record slipped through the cracks for many of us.

Worry not, as Mega Slaughter's whole back catalog has been released in a very professionally-looking luxury box containing the band's rare first (and last) album, Calls from the Beyond, three of their earlier demos and even one rehearsal tape, which contains a couple of unreleased songs from '91. All this stuff comes with extensive liner notes, tons of unseen photos, old gig flyers and articles about the band. The whole layout, including the booklet, has been nicely done, no doubt the result of many, many hours of work. And that's not all; this limited box set also comes with a small poster, by Petagno, and a sleeve patch of the Mega Slaughter logo. The packaging couldn't be any more professional.

The main thing, of course, is Mega Slaughter's music. Mega Slaughter never sounded much like the other Swedish Death Metal bands from the Stockholm area of the 90s (they were located in Gothenburg) but had a quite different approach, taking their influences from the US Death Metal scene. To me, Calls from the Beyond reminds me of Sadistic Intent around the time they recorded their Impending Doom EP back in 1990; a morbid, dark and raw sound. You might also hear bits and pieces from Therion's 1990 EP Time Shall Tell as well as Demigod's legendary 1991 Unholy Domain demo, just to give you an idea of how Mega Slaughter nailed it back in the day.

Disc two contains Mega Slaughter's whole demo-graphy, so to speak. The chronological order on this disc provides the listener the ability to follow how the band tightened their sound from one release to another. Mega Slaughter's debut 3-track demo, Negative Bitch, was a really rough and amateur-sounding effort from them, but then again, you need to start somewhere. Death Remains, from 1990, was a much better effort, giving a hint about the direction they were about to take and sounding a bit like Autopsy on their 1987 demo. Mega Slaughter's third, self-titled demo saw the band taking an even heavier and more grinding approach and their very raw sounding 2-track rehearsal tape, from the same year, strengthens the heavier and meaner musical direction they were heading toward. It is too bad the band split in the middle of 1992.

This is a definitive, very well put together package of Mega Slaughter's past works. Be sure to get your own copy, as this is a limited run for 1000 copies only. If you snooze, you lose.

Other related information on the site
Review: Calls From The Beyond (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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