A breath or two over a year since first emerging upon the Finnish metal scene, MACHINÆ make a broader and richer introduction to their melodic metal exploits with debut album Clockwork. Given its global release via Concorde Music Company barely two weeks after a successful unveiling in the quintet’s homeland, the album is a fascinating and captivating encounter making a persuasion that builds and then lingers rather than providing an immediately explosive one. From start to finish though, Clockwork tantalises and entices with its imaginative weave of potently varied flavours within a metal bred rock ‘n’ roll landscape.
Formed by guitarist/keyboardist Eriksson and drummer Romppanen, MACHINÆ took their first step as a full band on Halloween 2014, swiftly getting into the creation of their first album thereafter. Potent teasers in the shape of singles/videos Never Coming Back and Frozen Ground earlier this year ignited great anticipation for Clockwork and now here, fair to say it delivers a highly enjoyable and imaginatively accomplished incitement. Covering themes ranging from “death, independence, and an overall tone of overcoming hardships”, the self-financed and self-produced album is merges aggressive and seductive contrasts within an often tempestuous canvas. As if bred on the melodic/progressive prowess of Amorphis, the epic and industrial intensity of Rammstein, and the emotive resourcefulness of Poets Of The Fall, the album persistently entangles ears and imagination in its creative drama to leave satisfaction full.
Destroy And Rebuild starts things off, raw riffs and rhythms colluding with theatre laced enterprise spread quickly by the keys and guitars of Eriksson and Karenko. Enveloping ears with thick tempting from the start, the song’s energy relaxes a touch as the clean tones of Piipponen step forward, though beside him the carnivorous tone of Kauppinen’s bass ensures dark intimidation is still a prowling feature. Throaty growls add to the mix too as the swinging swipes of drummer Romppanen drive and shape the great volatility at the heart of the song. It is a great proposal epitomises things to come; the track not sending the senses and passions spinning but perpetually working away on them to emerge a long term and increasingly persuasive proposition.
The gripping Never Coming Back comes next; keys straight away hugging ears with lively yet shadow hued melodies as the vocals paint an evocative portrait of paranoia and the tragic outcome it leads to. As throughout the release, the song carries a familiarity which adds spice to the highly agreeable mix whilst its raw and bracing textures wake and hold attention as potently as the enterprise colouring their confrontation.
Barely a breath is allowed between tracks, This Will Be The Day emerging from the final release of sonic air out of its predecessor, instantly casting a folkishly melodic and engaging coaxing evolving into brewing angst and the intensity of the song. Its light might darken in the process but the track also unveils eager infectiousness and a similar welcoming glow from the keys which tempers that Poets Of The Fall like melancholy.
Across the quartet of songs so far, the album shows distinct diversity within its imagination, and continues to spread those wings through the brooding gothic croon of Casualties and the haunting air of Frozen Ground. The first of the two embraces symphonic and grouchily predacious elements whilst its successor blossoms a provocative electronic expression aligned with a gnarly touch and at times intent.
From a warm reflective smoulder to a rousing rock ‘n’ roll roar simplifies but gives a glimpse of the heart of Into light whilst Falling One By One weaves a tenaciously sculpted tapestry of sultry keys and hungry riffery around the enjoyable variety in vocal delivery and imagination colouring the song’s contagious body. It is an enticement and virulence echoed within Forever, where, not for the first time within Clockwork, there are certainly parts closely similar to others in the other songs but skilfully nurtured to positive effect in the emerging individualism of again an inescapably enjoyable encounter.
MACHINÆ continue to please and intrigue with their craft and imaginative songwriting as Almost Human Doll and Don’t Get Used To This provide eventful and unpredictable exploits, the latter especially riveting and anthemically incendiary before making way for the magnetic Blank Canvas which brings the album to a musically and melodically evocative close, with a contrasting snarl or two included.
Clockwork is not an album which left ears and thoughts awe struck, though thorough enjoyment was an easy conquest, but each song and moment offered something adventurous and sparked an appetite to explore the band more now and across future releases.
Clockwork is out now via Concorde Music Company.
Pete RingMaster 08/12/2015
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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