⭐ ⭐ ⭐ / ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

WARNING: The thunder crunch of Broken Odin may damage your id as well as your speakers.

Opening with a brittle guitar melody, “Golden Shower Stall” gives way to the pounding power thud of doubletime drums and clanging bass, furious guitars no longer delicate. Bone-bruising riffs and molten-hot leads assault in “City Of Lost Arms,” an otherwise pleasant little tune about a headless demon forced to exist until his top is reunited with his bottom (har har). The odd meter mindf%$k of “Robot Sandwich” is not without a sense of fun: every section of the song (chorus, verse, bridge etc) swaps places every other time, a sort of syncopated barrage of musical chairs for your ears.

There’s humor in there too with just a little bit of tangent-taking; a few welcome detours around the choruses and verses keep things fresh. Singer Ras Putin has always sounded his best when working with Sawyer Wood, and this time out the legendary producer got to work with Putin’s latest “megametal” outfit, Broken Odin. Wood brings out the best in his artists and Plastic Plasma is no exception: every song may not be terrific but they’re all good and they all work.

Guitarist Matthew Peechew played with drummer Kanta Gree in Hobby Norse while bassist Stu D. Baker was brought in on recommendation of Putin’s dentist. The band began recording and touring immediately, often both at the same time in an earnest dash toward their contemporaries who had been given unfair head starts for no real reason.

They work twice as hard as the next band, they rock 47 times harder than the last band, and they smell 300 times worse than the best band.

The four are balls-in to their music, whether you like it or not, and that’s cool. They even have a backstory:

They’re each host to an ancient Viking god, each member granted supernatural ability on their chosen instrument.
Their songs come to them when they’re sleeping, just like everyone else.
They don’t watch video of themselves live, fearing it despairs the gods that reside within them to see their mortal vessels.
They cut their hair with bolts of electricity and gargle with hydrochloric acid.

Putin had never spoken of these things before, so, unless he was always inhabited by a god, Viking or Waikiki, he must’ve just recently, like maybe days before this album was made, come to be inhabited by a god. By how or ’bout when no one knows. Well, most likely someone knows, but they haven’t told the rest of us yet.

This angelic possession manifests itself not just in their mutton-rich diets but in all outward facets of their lives. In public they never exit their hired hansom until dusk, and then only in the late summer. While they do not dress as such, they demand to be addressed as such, and have given true Viking beatings to many a woman and child for failing to do so.

Aside from the fascinating possibility that the entire band became possessed simultaneously, there are some good songs: “Poorgasm” rocks and “Trusty Earwig” rolls, making a fine one-two punch, while the duo of “Last Rites” and the aforementioned “City…” surround the speeding “Never Trust A Corpse,” forming a morbid trio. Best of all was the 11-minute opus “Peanut Butter And Jellyfish” with its tribal drums, drunken computer spurts of Peechew’s guitar synth, and the thunderous yet spry bass all forming an intricate web with Putin’s keys and sampled vocals. The band members are all excellent players who know how to show off just enough to allow their perfectly composed parts to shine. To draw attention to their talent wouldn’t rock nearly as hard, but if any band ever figures out how to do it, it’ll probably be Broken Odin.

Mercurial Ras Putin’s latest “megametal” offering Plastic Plasma is a fine example of über tungt mythological 21st century metal.