SKULL261

MASTIC SCUM, Dust (2009, Twilight Vertrieb)

The skull:
Wheels within wheels, man. Or gears within skulls, whatever. This is a sharp looking biomech who succeeds on the details. Note the plate in his forehead and the exhaust vents astern, and of course the obligatory barcode (here emblazoned on his jaw). Lots of skulls go for this grimy industrial look, but most of them come off looking like rejected drafts for a Photoshop class. This guy nails it, and though he is to be docked points for presenting his skullacity in profile, and perhaps for a cliched surfeit of brown, he compensates with tasteful highlighting and some truly spectacular teeth.

The music:
Mastic Scum grind after the fashion of Napalm Death, with the death metal quotient turned up a bit. Though not as endearingly jarring as the godfathers of grind, Mastic Scum apply the formula well. The buzzy, super-high-gain guitars and the precise drum work summon a recollection of Fear Factory in better days, but really, most of the “industrial” in Mastic Scum is delegated to the artwork. I won’t say that this sort of music thrills me especially, but I can appreciate craft when I hear it, and Mastic Scum do this style about as well as anyone.
— Friar Johnsen

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