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Black Falcon – Ego Mortem Machina

Black Falcon
Ego Mortem Machina
by kenn staub at 02 August 2020, 10:04 PM

“What did you do during isolation?” has become a common enough question during the global pandemic. Some folks used the time to do such things as learn a different language, read books they had been putting aside, clean their houses from top-to-bottom, or take up a hobby. BLACK FALCON stakes a claim to having won quarantine, however, by making their second EP, “Ego Mortem Machina.” How, if they were all in separate locations? Well, each member of the Yorkshire-based quintet recorded their tracks individually, sending them to bassist Liam Hunter for later mixing and mastering. The result, “Ego Mortem Machina,” released in May, is comprised of three riff-heavy stoner rock anthems sandwiched between two somewhat ethereal, synthesized meanderings.

Listening to the opening track, “Hawkmoon,” I thought I’d stumbled across some new prog version of a band which has a reputation for playing hard driving, thunderous rock-and-roll. By the time the song ended and the next began, I decided the almost regal sounding “Hawkmoon”, based off a repeating synth line, was not only a demonstration of versatility, but also an aural cleanser possibly meant to clear one’s head before BLACK FALCON unleashed a three track sonic assault.

The assault begins with a percussive blast that opens the EP’s title track. “Ego Mortem Machina,” loosely meaning “my death machine” in Latin, kicks in after the intro, propelled by a guitar rhythm overtop crashing cymbals and more percussive stylings. Up next, “Credit To Play” starts with a fuzzy guitar refrain paired with a percussive backbeat. There is an urgency to the song, which is congruent with Dave Ayres singing “I’m losing patience” as part of the chorus. A guitar solo on top of a driving rhythm is a highlight. The three track assault ends with “Again, Again.” This track opens with a bass line leading into a classic metal guitar riff backed by power drumming. “Again, Again” has an old school sensibility to it. At times the guitar playing, characterized by a certain funkiness, has a rhythmic “wa-wa” feel reminiscent of recordings by THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE.

Neon,” another synth-heavy track, ends the album. Again, BLACK FALCON shows a progish side with a spacey melody that has a somber, if not haunting quality. Drumming during the middle creates a transient sense of edginess. At times I couldn’t help but feel as if I were meant to be viewing neon lights through a veil of misty rain and fog.

As stylistically impressive as the opening and closing tracks are, the middle three rockers made this album for me. Those three tracks, particularly the guitars, are, like all good stoner metal, rough around the edges, but polished at their core. The trio of tunes are heavy and melodic, almost anthemic, with catchy riffs that should have the listener nodding along.

Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Hawkmoon (1:36)
2. Ego Mortem Machina (4:15)
3. Credit To Play (4:01)
4. Again, Again (4:33)
5. Neon (3:08)
Dave Ayres – Vocals
Jony Hunter – Guitar
Richard Dale – Guitar
Liam Hunter – Bass
Lee Durham – Drums
Record Label: MSH Music Group


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Edited 04 February 2023

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