Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Review; Mechina - Empyrean
This fifth album from American Industrial Death Metal crew; Mechina has an opening salvo that unleashes their sound with no hesitation or mercy. This is Fear Factory-esque riffs with electronic and orchestral atmospherics that gives a spectrum of sound so vast and epic that it should be used as the soundtrack to the next great Hollywood sci-fi film! The vocal delivery of David Holch ranges from Death screams and growls through to soaring clean vocals, and brilliantly accompanies the music behind it.
It strikes me as odd that there are generic bands enjoying such reverence and status in the world of metal when there are bands such as Mechina who are offering something genuinely interesting and different to listen to. I would be pleased to see this group join bands at the heights of other genre-defying bands like Dimmu Borgir, as their sound is one that could easily fill large venues live. It's engaging enough on record, I can only imagine it would sound massive live.
It's difficult to tell which song or songs are my favourites on this record, as there are no filler tracks on here, and the album flows from one song to the next with no seams or stutters, as any good concept album should. The riffs chug along with frightening accuracy and timing that is definitely born of a Dino Cazares school of guitar playing. With all the orchestra and electronic ambience in the forefront of the music, the guitar does take the back seat, but it is to no hindrance to the album, nor is the fact that there are no guitar solos in the whole album. Honestly, if they'd tried to fit any in, I don't know how they would have managed.
The orchestral elements are clearly king on this record, and a shout has to go out to Joe Tiberi, who composed and executed the arrangements on the album. It's nothing short of fantastic, and lets face it, it's at least two-thirds of what makes this album so great. The addition of female vocals aid the sound even further, whether they're programmed or not, I cannot tell, but to the ear it barely matters.
Since my first listen to this record, I've kept coming back to it, and I know already that unless there's a long succession of albums dropped this year that are absolute masterpieces, this will be high on my albums-of-the-year list. I can't fault this album. Check it out. Now!