Nima : It’s been ten years since this US metal brigade released its last full-length, ’Patents Of Control’. Two years ago the band showed a sign of life with the ’Battle Scars’ EP, on which they – fortunately – continued on the same path. Last summer the third long player, ‘Metal Machine’, was finally a fact. Although, long…? With only seven new tracks and a playing time of less than half an hour this long player is a bit on the short side. But anyway, at least all the tracks are of a high quality and worth the while. Rather a shorter playing time with only good songs than a longer record with some fillers, don’t you think?
The new arsenal is somewhat surprising, and that is meant only positively. You see, the album definitely lives up to its title. The band has chosen for a sturdier and a more direct and straightforward approach. Although the progressive influences are still present and there is no lack of melody whatsoever, in general the progressive piece have been reduced quite a lot. What we have here are a number of pure (US) heavy/speed metallers that rather pound forth in general. I definitely appreciated the band’s previous records, but what the band presents on ‘Metal Machine’ is not only more to my taste, but also sounds a lot more “in your face” and even more METAL!
The comparison with Iced Earth still applies, but the new material is a lot more in the direction of the sturdier Priest, Jag Panzer, Exciter, but also bands like Heathen, Annihilator and Megadeth. Shortly put; utter metal. However, the band doesn’t allow itself to be directly compared to anything else, which is a good thing. The whole thing sounds quite contemporary, but at the same time delightfully traditional, and therefore will apply to a larger audience. On top of that the whole thing is well performed, and again vocalist Robert Hett manages to positively distinguish himself with his steel vocal cords and catchy vocal lines. And finally the album also has a great production.
Along with the seven original composition the album also contains a great cover version of Scorpions-classic ‘Blackout’, that fits the rest of the material surprisingly well. All in all ‘Metal Machine’ is a solid, pure metal album that will definitely apply to the fans of the genre.