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Mechina - Empyrean Award winner

by Vasilis Odontidis at 21 January 2013, 3:47 PM

In the vastness of cosmos, if there is a force, an archaic source of pure astral music that could form a trinity of epicenes, brutality and universal majesty that could only be MECHINA. I bumped on these guys by pure accident on YouTube and I was shocked by the music structure of “Non Serviam” (oh yes I was checking for ROTTING CHRIST at that point). My jaws just dropped. And while I thought “Conqueror” would be a totalitarian conquest over my ears and soul in the first days of 2013 “Empyrean” just prove me that that was just the beginning. “Empyrean” is the third record of the Chicago, Illinois based band follower to “Assembly of Tyrants” and “Conqueror”.

So how could someone describe their music? Well I could say it is Industrial Metal in the core with low tuned chunky guitars, insane double bass drums and combination of brutal and clean vocals. Now add to that symphonic orchestration, samples, electronic parts, lots of Greek song titles and serve them in the verge of space bathed in the light of cosmic stars and distant galaxies. Musically speaking “Empyrean” is quite close to “Conqueror” but with a bigger duration, the orchestra playing a more important role in the songs and greater extent of clean vocals usage and choirs. After the intro “Aporia”, “Asterion” and “Interregnum” are perfect examples of that song writing. Intensive drumming and rhythmic guitar riffing, contradicting vocals (“Interregnum” has only clean though) and a majestic orchestra. Things get more brutal in “Imperialus” where blast beats and growling vocals have major role while rhythm guitars are destroying literally everything with their speed and fury. In the end things get electronic again and female vocals wrap up this song leading into a majestic choir and an imposing opening for the next song “Anathema”, one of the highlights of the record. In “Catechism” I was surprised to find that the spoken lines amidst the chaos of stellar rhythm guitars are from the ancient Greek tragedy of Aeschylus, Agamemnon. Sixth song in the row and still I am wondering how a band can so beautifully combine ethereal women vocals, electronic samples and insanely fast paced metal. “Empyrean” kicks in with guitar riffs being the main structure where the whole song builds. “Infineon” goes on a more standardized modern Metal riffing not having any exaggeration but in the very end. But the biggest treat is left for the end. The titanic masterpiece “Terminus”, a behemoth of ten minutes music that is a phantasmagoric end to an amazing trip through space and time that leads to salvation.

Trying to sort my thoughts on “Empyrean” I wonder if that would be how THERION would sound if they could modernize their sound while in the meantime turn back to their loots of Death Metal or just cross breed them with FEAR FACTORY. But even that probably is not enough to describe that absolute beauty of the record, the structures of their music or the complexity of emotions this record creates. It is one of those records that one could listen to in separate tracks but its fully dynamics unveil only when you go from start to finish as the songs flow one into the other and everything seems so natural and organic and you drown deeper and deeper with each song.

The story of the record is conceptual and the main thing that is happening is that on Earth humanity is crumbling, because of the tyranny of high society and religion. While Earth is being destroyed by a firestorm from outer space the main character (and I guess some more) are trying to escape praying to the stars and somewhere there the planet Empyrean comes into play. More or less this is the story if I have not misinterpreted something from the lyrics (you can reference them in their Facebook page). But in any case it is really interesting how the band interprets and deals with subjects as religion, science and humanity.

The production of the record is stunning and it is really a wonder how they manage that insane amount of instruments, vocals and samples in every song. The only big change since the previous records is that the orchestra is put way forward in the mix and that detracts from the aggressiveness of the songs (compared to the previous releases) but gives such a glorious tone to the songs and such a majestic feeling that I do not really mind for that thing. Also keep in mind that this is a self-financed release and yet the quality of the recording is just so much better than a lot of releases that have a record label behind them. MECHINA’s music is beyond the typical standards and needs of a heavy metal listener. To enjoy them you need to like speedy stuff (and oh god, are just countless light speeding parts), love Sci-Fi and soundtracks and in general be open minded. If these criteria are satisfied this record and this band is for you. It is still in its infancy but they are making such bold steps with each release that they will get big very soon - it is just a matter of time. “Empyrean” is a record you must listen whether you like the genre or not. Dive into your chair and enjoy a first class journey to the edge of the universe amongst unknown galaxies and yet-to-be-discovered constellations and then you will see that … we are all bound to the stars.

5 Star Rating

1. Aporia
2. Asterion
3. Interregnum
4. Imperialus
5. Anathema
6. Catechism
7. Cryostasis Simulation 2632 01
8. Elephtheria
9. Empyrean
10. Infineon
11. Terminus
Joe Tiberi- Guitars, Programming
David Holch- Vocals
Steve Amarantos- Bass
David Gavin- Drums
Record Label: Independent


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