Album Review: Mastic Scum – Icon

Album Review: Mastic Scum - Icon
Reviewed by Richard Oliver

Icon is the sixth album from Austrian death metallers Mastic Scum who are a four piece band who formed in 1992. As well as five previous albums, Mastic Scum have released EP’s and a whole load of split releases. Icon is the first album in nine years with their last album being C T R L in 2013. The band are made up of founding duo and brothers Harry Gandler (guitars) and Man Gandler (drums) as well as returning vocalist Maggo Wenzel and new bassist Pati Jay who makes his recording debut with the band.

Mastic Scum have a very direct and straightforward approach to death metal on Icon with a sound that harks back to the late 90’s and early 00’s with very downtuned guitars and a very groove and chug heavy approach to riff writing. The staccato riffing style from Harry Gandler reminds me of bands such as Fear Factory at times especially during the industrial edged Doomsayer but the death metal takes prevalence in songs such as Slavebreed, Create And Destroy and Negation whilst songs such as Front Towards Enemy and Twice The Pain have a very clear beatdown hardcore influence.

Album Review: Mastic Scum – Icon

The drumming from Man Gandler is utterly ferocious and is a highlight of the album and the vocals from Maggo Wenzel are suitably aggressive and bring to mind vocalists such as Dave Ingram and Barney Greenway.

Icon is a well rounded album where the band wears its loves and influences on their sleeves but manage to keep the album interesting with a mix of sounds - all of which are heavy as hell resulting in a relentless listen. If groove heavy death metal, the industrial staccato riffing of Fear Factory and the brutality of hardcore float your boat then you will be onto a winner with this album. Icon doesn’t bring anything new to the table but just sets out to crush the listener into submission which it does in brutal style.

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