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Mechina - Empyrean review

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Band: Mechina
Album: Empyrean
Release date: January 2013

01. Aporia
02. Asterion
03. Interregnum
04. Imperialus
05. Anathema
06. Catechism
07. Cryostasis_simulation__2632_01
08. Eleftheria
09. Empyrean
10. Infineon
11. Terminus

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.


Comments: 14   Visited by: 290 users
28.01.2013 - 06:40
Fantastic atmosphere for sure but that production job does bring it down. Impressive nonetheless, and I don't always go for the industrial sort of metal.
28.01.2013 - 07:46
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Great review for a very deserving album. Conqueror was a 2011 release btw
loves 小巫
28.01.2013 - 10:32
Account deleted
Yeah the sound lets this album down a little being a bit thin and watery but song wise there's a lot to like.
28.01.2013 - 11:38
hi-fi / lo-life
Written by Ag Fox on 28.01.2013 at 07:46

Great review for a very deserving album. Conqueror was a 2011 release btw

28.01.2013 - 15:42
This is a really interesting and will definitely give this a full listen soon. Anathema in particular sounds awesome.
28.01.2013 - 16:16
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Eh, I wasn't too fond of it, but it wasn't bad by any means
28.01.2013 - 16:36
Dark Forever
Ruído Sonoro
The album is great, but seriously, who decided to give it such a crappy production? I hope they re-release this somewhere in the future with the sound it deserves.

EDIT: They just posted now on Facebook that they'll release the second run of digipack copies with an improved master of all tracks. Go there for a preview
Taste the DARK...
... and you'll live FOREVER!
28.01.2013 - 17:08
No bass at all but love the song Anathema. Do not like the harsh vocals, sounds like metalcore garbage but the guy can sing amazing.
28.01.2013 - 20:04
Just listened to "Anathema." Wow, what a song! And I don't really see what wrong with the production, at least on this song. It's unique.

EDIT: Okay - listening to other songs now, and yeah, the production is bad.
But I Justify My Desire to No One
29.01.2013 - 11:40
Unfurtunately this album is much worse, than previous.
They should first choose the type of metal - symphonic/gothic, death or industrial. It is not possible to merge all of them into one kind, or at least not in the style proposed by this band on this album.
Sorry Mechina, but this is not the way.
29.01.2013 - 13:20
Agree with above, another band using the 'Draconian Track Kit v.1'... There are simply too many bands doing this kind of thing better, in a far less generic manner. It's busy, lacks focus, and the production values ARE NOT that great.
29.01.2013 - 15:45
Account deleted
Written by RainingBlood on 29.01.2013 at 13:20

There are simply too many bands doing this kind of thing better, in a far less generic manner.

Such as?
31.01.2013 - 00:22
Thanks for the nice review; I wouldn't have discovered this album or band otherwise. I'm still too much of a newb to metal to tell what is good or bad production so I'm enjoying this album. I like the combination of melodic and brutal, and the atmosphere's great! Time to check out Conqueror now...
29.09.2014 - 08:16
OMG, OMG, this band is AWESOME, why write about them when you can hear them anytime. Better music than words. Their evolution will never end. Impressive.

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