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Mothflesh – Machine Eater

Machine Eater
by Huw Eggington at 05 April 2022, 5:38 AM

Malaysian trio make some big noise of their second full length release. Djent in 2022 has almost become a dirty word, an umbrella term for anyone who sounds even remotely like MESHUGGAH, it is used as a stick to beat bands with. Bands who seem to take more time and effort into complex, technical riffing, esoteric time signatures, and almost impenetrable rhythmic shifting that become impossible to air drum/guitar to, than remembering to actually do what a band is supposed to do in the first place, write songs. As good as the originating Swedes are they have a lot to answer to with the way their creation has evolved.

So when I started “Dogmacore” the opening track on Malaysian 3 pieces’s MOTHFLESH’s sophomore record, and heard the mechanical, chuggy riffing, I had some reservations. Sure this definitely has a lot of the trademarks of some of modern metals groove laden, technical obsessions, but there’s a bit more to this than perhaps initially meets the eye. Perhaps it comes from the other influences this band are bringing to the table, “Human”era DEATH particularly has to have been important for them, the more progressive elements in their sound. There’s a hardcore sensibility to this as well, preferring to maximise impact through minimising use of different passages, it adds an almost frantic nature to the sound. This seemingly sets MOTHFLESH as a slight cut above the most of their peers, and something that keeps this record interesting throughout its entire runtime as well as increasing the re-listen factor.

There’s a real sense of melodic intuition with this band moving from moment to moment with ease, the songs flow surprisingly well especially considering the sometimes awkward riffing and rhythms presented. It’s a sign of the bands talent as musicians that they have still managed to create hooks all over this “Knife in the Back” being a great example of this, with lines you can’t help but scream along with after only a couple of listens. “The Lotus Denial” further cements this dedication to melody, fusing and overlapping the verses with harsh and clean vocals from, helping to create an almost eerie beauty underneath the vicious power.

Another real standout on this record is the bass work of Eze Mavani galloping and gliding up and down their fretboard accentuating the whole sound, becoming a clear instrument in its own right rather than just a part of the rhythm section. “Chaos Intervals” holds some particularly special parts for them, the super groovy and twangy sound of the bass ringing out and and grabbing you round the head, forcing you to bang.

Overall this band have managed to carve out their own little niche in a style music growing more stagnant due to a refusal to be hampered by the “rules” of this and to bring in more conventional, dare I say simpler influences and styles to pepper into their sound to keep things interesting, who got into rock music to follow a rule book anyway?

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Dogmacore
2. Hexburn Ω
3. Reconstructing Fire
4. The Lotus Denial
5. Myriagon
6. Cyberpsycho
7. Knife in the Back
8. Chaos Intervals
9. Theory of Mind
10. Void Edge
Imran Muhammad - Vocals
Ranveee Singh - Guitars
Eze Mavani - Bass
Record Label: Goatlordth Records


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