Tuesday, July 28, 2015


by MMB
One Machine: The Final Cull (Scarlet Records)
Warning: Do not check your brain at the door. You will need it for One Machine! If you hate high-pitched heavy metal singing, move on. If you abhor prog metal that requires several listens and needs for the audience to make an effort to understand the music, you should also move on.
One Machine is midtempo/uptempo, chuggy, proggy metal with an aggro/thrash pounding heaviness, and with both aggro/angry shouted vocals and air-raid-siren singing, like fusing shredder metal with Symphony X, Nevermore and Cowboys-era Pantera, with the aggro of a young Phil Anselmo and the high screams of Rob Halford. For the solos the band unleashes major fretboard action upon the ears of the listener.
Guitar maestro Steve Smyth, who according to Metal Archives is originally from the great state of Texas, U.S. and now lives in grey and rainy London, U.K., first came to people’s attention through his work with Vicious Rumors and Testament, and then perhaps the most visibly with Seattle’s kings of misery and self-loathing metal Nevermore. Mr. Smyth has done work other projects, such as Forbidden and Dragonlord, and other names, too, but those are some of the most well known for the metal music public.
A few years ago Mr. Smyth revealed a new monster that he and fellow conspirators had been frankensteining in the mad laboratory: One Machine. In 2014 they brought out the behemoth known as “The Distortion of Lies and the Overdriven Truth,” a work that was a marriage between classic metal and modern metal, coming across as prog/thrashy metal, heavy, yet still melodic.
Now, on September 18th, they unveil “The Final Cull.”
In my opinion, the first album was a strong exhibition of hard work and dedication, by an experienced team that expects that the listener is willing to put some effort into the music.
The band seems impossible to limit to a category or label, and this new album demonstrates once again that the music is the result of experience.
Mikkel Sandager, the former vocalist for Mercenary, is no longer with One Machine, either. In his place we find Chris Hawkins, who is a new name to me. The band has a new rhythm section, Stefano Selvatico (bass) and Michele Sanna (drums). Jamie Hunt (guitars) and Steve Smyth, according to Metal Archives, have been in One Machine since 2008
The first album from 2014 was a bit overwhelming at times, to me. A little too heavy-handed on the prog/thrash, perhaps a bit too much music-for-musicians, so I was looking forward to hearing the new material.
Since this is the second time around for me, I was more prepared for the high skilled combination of prog metal and modern metal, that particular concoction that is One Machine. I hear the melodies a lot more this time around. Or, maybe the album is more melodic? The song structures have a bit of a twist to them, providing the sensation that this band does not sound like any other band right now. The guitars can be fluid, but they can dig down and get heavy and chuggy, too. Add the variety of vocals of high and low, and the picture of versatility comes into focus rather well. It may sound a bit strange at first, due to the various elements of prog, thrash, traditional, modern and groove metal, but all of it put together adds up to One Machine.
As for me, this new album has been a good transition. I understand One Machine a bit better now, and that’s a good thing because the album sounds like a lot of hard work. Mr. Smyth and Mr. Hunt will probably get tendonitis in the future, and Mr. Hawkins is mostly likely still in the hospital getting therapy for the destruction of his vocal chords during the recording of this album. I wish for good health for everyone in the band!
One Machine - The Final Cull - Crowdfunding Campaign Landing Video
I do not have a new song for you just yet, but this is this the title track of the first album from 2014. Keep in mind that the new album sounds slightly different, but this gives a great of what One Machine is all about.
ONE MACHINE - 'The Distortion Of Lies And The Overdriven Truth' Official...

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