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(50:22, ‘Mechanical Organic’)
TRACK LIST: 1. Show Me Oblivion 6:19 2. The Guiding Lie 5:26 3. Of Leprous Minds 4:09 4. Hate Remembers / Love Forgot 6:48 5. Empty Shell 5:10 6. Through the Lens 4:18 7. The Drifting Part 7:03 8. An Architect's Farewell 4:39 9. To Be King 6:30 LINEUP: Eddie Katz – keyboards David Bellion – vocals; guitars; keyboards Evan Harris – bass, Chapman stick, NS stick Andrew Hurst – drums Joe Kostof – guitars
Prolusion. The Australian band MECHANICAL ORGANIC was formed back in 2005, and released its debut album the following year. Since then a further two EPs and three full-length albums have followed. "This Global Hive Part Two" is the most recent of these, and was self-released in 2014.
Analysis. Mechanical Organic is a self-described progressive metal band, or to be exact, quoting the band's description in full: "An eclectic synthesis of heavy melodic metal shrouded in a progressive veil. Music beyond genre, themes beyond belief." As far as this latest production of theirs is concerned, my stance is that this is a creation that resides firmly within the confines of progressive metal though. The key aspect of this entire albums are guitar riffs of the kind just about all Dream Theater fans will find familiar sounding. Tight, vibrant, almost playful ones, compact chugging riff cascades, majestic, rich and open dark toned riffs of a more bombastic character, as well as quirky, at times subtly chaotic riff constructions. In addition the band does opt to slow the pace at times, expanding into some almost doom metal sounding escapades. Where these musicians separate themselves from the greater amount of bands exploring progressive metal in the style of Dream Theater is in the use of keyboards. We do get the majestic keyboards and guitar constellations one might expect, but perhaps not quite as often. Flavoring of a more delicate kind is just as frequent if not more so, from the occasional and highly effective use of delicate piano motifs to careful, futuristic effects of a more distinct electronic nature, as gliding textures and odd sounds coating this album in a futuristic atmosphere of the dystopian kind. Gentler interludes and almost ambient intermissions, often with a distinct electronic touch to them, also a part of the proceedings here that expand the territory of this production ever so slightly. A slightly detracting feature for me are the lead vocals of David Bellion though. He's got a nice set of powerful pipes, but they seem to be stuck on the Geoff Tate-style dramatic, emotional delivery a tad too often for my personal taste in vocals. Apart from that detail, which rather clearly comes in under subjective tastes in music, I find this production to be a more than worthwhile one: classic era progressive metal as explored in a subtly expressive manner, adding a few subtle details here and there to that particular canvas.
Conclusion. If you tend to enjoy classic progressive metal, have a tendency to enjoy concept albums and find albums described as dark and dystopian to be alluring, Mechanical Organic is a band you most likely should lend an ear to. Their latest studio album is a well made affair, especially considering that it's also a self-released one, and among the aforementioned outlined audience I suspect those with an affection of bands in the Dream Theater school of progressive metal should be easier drawn to this disc than others.
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