The short version is that "Monstrous Victorious" is excellent. The long version: it's surprisingly experimental at times, but yet another vision of clarity; a more complicated story but a united whole. Other bands may release albums that are collections of songs grouped only by timeliness whereas, on the evidence of their two albums so far, Degaruda deal in big-picture wide-screen concepts, unified by both sound and art. Given this, I'll refrain from scavenging individual tracks and look instead at the three major parts to Monstrous Victorious (which are separated by two minor instrumental pieces, Selene and Helios).
- Part One: This is classic Degaruda, kicked off by howling screams of "I was wrong!" at the start of No One's Home. Epic riffs, twin lead breaks and punchy rhythms lead us bloodied and blindfolded through the shredding slugfests of The Thing and Harmony, CA. Three tracks in and we're already slack-jawed in awe...
- Part Two: New Degaruda! This five-song set, featuring Ataraxia, Lucatiel, Pilgrimage, Sire and Entropy, sees the band embrace a wide variety of styles ranging from the stomping anthem Ataraxia to the spectral instrumental reggae of Pilgrimage. Lucatiel is a particular highlight, with its melodic intro giving way to a glistening slab of thunderous riffage, as is the incendiary opus that is Sire. Could it be what I think it is about? "My name decides all of the souls that want to fall in line..."
- Part Three: The coda. Album closing track Tusk is a gloriously short sharp stab of noise and rants: "It doesn't feel, it doesn't feed, it doesn't care, it doesn't bleed".
You can buy a CD directly from the band here, or download the tracks here. Get it now!