Megalomatic Review

Three-piece heavy rock/prog band Megalomatic headline the Banshee Labyrinth on Saturday 29th of September. The mighty Glaswegian band is comprised of lead vocalist and guitarist Craig McKenzie, drummer Jamie Barnes and bassist Ben Reffin.

There is a buzz of raw excitement rising from the dark basement beneath the bar in the Banshee Labyrinth. It appears as though I have descended into a heat-trapping, scarcely lit mausoleum, but alas, it is where tonight’s gig will take place. The eager crowd have come to see the Glasgow’s favourite stoner metal/prog rockers, Megalomatic, wrap up the final leg of their UK tour.

After a roaring performance from real-life Thor Craig Carnegie, lead vocalist for Leith band The Kyrss Talmeth Experience and a bold debut set from Not Robots? It is time for Megalomatic to give the fans what they are here for. One such fan to my left says it is his 21st time seeing Megalomatic, having followed them around Scotland over the years.

They launch into their set with an energetic performance of their new single ‘Coil’. The single, from their EP titled Symbolism, is a somewhat of a metal mash-up masterpiece. It uses a surprisingly delicate melodic riff to mirror a deep, groovy bass line. The drums are unrepentant but methodical. Megalomatic frontman Craig begins singing in a soothing whisper before building the tension until he is projecting a guttural scream. The wall of emotion and sound hits me instantly, and I’m left in awe of what I’ve just heard.

Megalomatic have started off strong. They quickly settle into a stellar set composed of songs from their EP that somehow sound even better live and raw. The band seem to be enjoying themselves, they are effortlessly tight as musicians and don’t fall into the pitfall of overthinking – either their playing or on-stage banter. Megalomatic seem tteful for each member of the audience being there. They even give a shout-out and play an older, rare song for the fan who has seen them 21 times – who then beams with joy – before head-banging vigorously, of course.

After the blistering performance, I managed to catch up with lead vocalist, guitarist and founder Craig McKenzie to gain an understanding of how they developed their tight, heavy sound as a trio.

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Craig McKenzie, lead singer and founder of Meglomatic

“We’ve worked out how to make ourselves sound as big as a four piece but as a three piece and it’s ended up working out really well for us. It’s been three years now and we’re still going strong.”

The band was formed in 2013 by Craig, and has went through numerous line-up alterations since. In bands prior to Megalomatic, Craig was always a guitarist and had never sang outside his bedroom walls before. Second before their first gig as a band, the former bassist and intended lead-singer suffered stage fright and Craig has to step forward and fill the role of singer.

“I was awful – but it felt really good even if I was struggling I knew it was something I wanted to pursue. Even though I don’t have a lot of confidence off stage, it’s a totally different beast being on stage. When I’m on stage it feels like a totally different mind-set. I’m more confident in front of loads of people, with a guitar around my neck pouring my soul out than I am speaking one to one to somebody. The band is my release.”

Megalomatic have recently returned from playing shows in England, with the thought one gig in Norwich bringing a particularly fond memory back to Craig; “It blows my mind that we can drive seven hours away and there are people who are invested enough to show up and know our songs.”

With skilfully crafted, melodic but ear-shatteringly heavy songs and a pleasantly humble nature – it’s no wonder the fan favourite has people supporting them around the country. As the band say themselves, they play with “muscle and heart”.

Megalomatic can be found on Spotify, Apple music and YouTube.

Listen to them yourself here: https://youtu.be/M2dWGCIjZNw

By Rachel Lee

 

 

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