Album Review: Motograter, Desolation


By Samantha Schneider

Motograter incorporates all aspects of the definition metal; fusible, hard, and opaque in their new album Desolation. I wasn’t familiar with Motograter, prior to this review, but they made this album relatable.

Some days music really speaks to you, even if it isn’t your favorite genre.

Motograter formed in 1995, and is mostly known for their invention of the “Motograter” which is an instrument similar to a bass. The guitar pieces, cables and other components provide a distorted sound that is heavily used in their albums. Although the band played at Knotfest in 2014, they haven’t released a full album since 2003.

Their album Motograter featured vocals by Ivan Moody, of Five Finger Death Punch and Ghost Machine. From that album came the songs “Suffocate” and “Down”. “Down” was used in the game Nascar Thunder 2004 and “Suffocate” was on the soundtrack of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Desolation derives from the same place as Motograter however, the sound of their new album is much softer in comparison. Is it possibly due to the fact, that Ivan Moody isn’t featured this round?

Desolation is a state of emptiness and destruction, and that’s what the album is. The album plays with the themes of blame, insecurity, tragedy and insanity. The lyrics are dark, and quite frankly, pretty awesome. Even as an outsider, I was able to recognize the raw emotion that bleeds out of this album. Metal is heavy and so is Desolation, lyrically and instrumentally. The album’s vocals share cries of pain, song after song.

“Victim” represented blame and how people must take responsibility of their own actions.  The lyrics translated to that old saying, you get what you deserve. You pay for your sins because you can’t blame anyone other than yourself.

“Paragon” made me feel like I just flicked on Fast and Furious. It was an action-packed sound, that had me hooked right at the beginning. The intro became consistent, and translated lyrics that paint a picture of someone unraveling at the seams. The deep vocals were angry, and set on seeking revenge stating, “I will bury you alive inside a sarcophagus of my design.” Pretty Dark!

The song names are enough to show that the various states of Desolation are very real: Parasite, Bleeding Through, Daggers, Portrait of Decay, and Shadows.

Although “Bleeding Through” expresses similar feelings it was out of place. The intro reminded me of a song by The Police. It slowed the album down and ruined the flow.  The tune didn’t contain the classic elements of metal that the other songs offer, or one would expect.

This dark album had years to be developed and overall, it’s pretty solid. The band had a theme of desolation and despair, and I have to give it to them, they were consistent. The vocals are executed with the perfect blend of rough and soft intertwined into one. Metal isn’t my usual genre, but Motograter showed me there is always room to expand my horizons. I hope I don’t have to wait 14 years for another album. Better late than never! 7.0/10

1. Parasite
2. Dorian
3. Victim
4. Paragon
5. Bleeding Through
6. Misanthropical
7. Daggers
8. Portrait of Decay
9. Locust
10. Rise (There Will Be Blood)
11. Shadows


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