Vera : With a band name as 3rd Machine it might be logical that their music sounds a bit mechanic and eh… like a machine. Even stronger, this is offered as industrial metal, but fortunately this album happens to be so diverse that it remains interesting for people who do not have a liking for that sub genre. This five-piece, founded in 2005 (three original members are still present) comes with a full length debut album now, after previously having released three EPs. The principal part of ‘Quantified Self’ appears to be pounding, modern metal. You know what I mean: muscular exposure and moshpits spontaneously appear in the audience. Pantera, Machine Head and Soulfly might be references, while lyrics are dealing with the dangers of this digital era.
Thus opener ‘Curveball’ is energetic to the utmost, with John Ruiter as whipping buoy with hardcore edge. But there are also fragments with clean vocals and those are really fetching. On top of that riffs are relished with beautiful melodic soloing which they show a virtuoso complexity. In the Soulfly allied ‘Reboot Initiate’ unexpected jazzy, progressive leads pop up and almost in every song one can find spoken passages, sometimes done with samples. The tight riffs of the title track suddenly stop when clean, smooth chants appear, with guest appearances of Rebecca Duin and Pieter Bas Borger. ‘Ultimate Intelligence’ begins with fine bluesy guitar licks, but turns into an amalgamation of hammering staccato riffs and rattled off rage. Yet solos meander through it and the clean vocals parts are once again very catchy. Mark Jansen (Epica, Mayan) has a guest appearance in this song. The second part of the album includes a lot of atmospheric passages on synthesizer, starting with ‘Firewall’, of course in the midst of them heavy, nearly monotonous riffs. Those stiff riffs in ‘Magnet’ are regaled with synths and any orchestral arrangements, while we can even call this song epic. That is also tenable for ‘1953’ in which the floods in the Netherlands are featured. It is executed with loads of drama and emotion. After these two relatively calm songs with many breaks, ‘System Idle’ and occluding track ‘Petrified’ are once again a feast of pummelling riffs and raging roaring growls. In ‘Petrified’ the contrast between the fucked-up extreme vocals and the slightly serene clean chants is huge. There is a lot going on at ‘Quantified Self’, but this Amsterdam based outfit proves that they have more to offer than just your average dynamic riffs and hardcore shouts. That’s why we are talking about a genre record done to a turn. It is up to you to find out which genre, there are influences from various music styles. Check it out!