Mechina - Empyrean review
|Release date:||January 2013|
In 2011, Mechina released Conqueror, an oft-overlooked industrial death metal tour de force that was nevertheless just flawed enough to fly under the radar of most genre fans. Indeed, now we know that it was really just a taste of things to come, a great concept marred by lack of experience and perhaps a few too many elements borrowed from other bands. It was the musical equivalent of Arthur C. Clarke writing Warhammer 40K fan fiction, with the author's innate talent struggling to emerge from beneath genre conventions.
In truth, Empyrean, Mechina's latest opus, is really more of the same; however, the songwriting is far more consistently stellar this time around. Riffs that were Fear Factory rip-offs previously are now given far more thought and as a result sound quite unique, working in tandem with symphonic arrangements to achieve an impressive amalgamation of moving melody and staccato brutality. Likewise, extreme vocals still sound a lot like Bolt Thrower, while clean passages will have Burton C. Bell looking for a cure for somnambulism. Luckily, in a genre where 98% of all music sounds exactly the same, Mechina's other achievements more than make up for these similarities. You see, Empyrean is one of those rare epic albums that truly manage to conquer the imagination. Vivid images of space battles, futuristic urban vistas and other science-fiction scenes are aptly conjured with the complex song structures, intelligent lyrics and the cinematic atmosphere that permeates Empyrean to the core, especially on highlight tracks like "Anathema" or "Terminus".
With this said, not everything is perfect for Mechina in 2013. The production on this album could be a little meatier and spacious, while everything on Empyrean currently sounds very digital, hot on the treble and claustrophobic. For future releases, a more dynamic sound or at least a more prominent low end would really help to carve Mechina's music from diamond in the rough to exquisite gem. Nevertheless, these little issues are really just nit-picking: Empyrean is very much the soundtrack to the epic film you didn't even know existed in your own head. Discovering this world is a real treat indeed, one that I am thankful to Mechina for delivering.
||Written on 28.01.2013 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.|
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