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Opus of a Machine - Stray Fire Award winner

Opus of a Machine
Stray Fire
by Martin "Doomed" Desbois at 04 September 2018, 2:59 AM

From Gold Coast, Australia here is OPUS OF A MACHINE. An alternative progressive metal that shared stage with likes of TESSERACT ,CIRCLES and Australian Prog Rock masters CALIGULA'S HORSE. Also Zac Greensill left them to join Opus of a Machine. "Stray fire" is their second  self released addition since 2004's "Simulacra". We have six tracks totaling a little less than 40 minutes. First track "Strenght in Stone" sets the mood with pianos and wonderful clean vocals of Mitchell Legg. A little electronics can be heard.The melody is quite accessible and light. The rhythm guitars are powerful but lost in a blend of soundscapes making it more dynamic than aggressive. The clean guitars melodies are interesting, it's like floating on a field of melodies and musical notes, softly but also energetically. Inspired music, accessible but without the lack of creativity. It sounds like Steven Wilson having fun with younger musicians. I am quite impressed by being lifted up that way by that song. Accessible,not too much like we are now overexposed in the progressive modern scene. An easy listening creation that possesses a lot of treasures to share.

Second Track "Up. Out" starts it up with background oriented almost muted drum covered by electronic waves dynamics to set place for the riffs and vocals to take place. Once again, we have beautiful clean vocals used in an harmonic way.But now the guitar is expressing more madness and solos, monumentally. This track is emotion filled. OPUS OF A MACHINE has something to say. The percussion goes from electronic discrete ones to real ones, more rocking ones. The production made a great job, it sounds modern it sounds well balanced. This is an absolutely cool song. "Wild/Unknown" is kind of an interlude with lyrics, during about three minutes this one acts like a transition. Sounds of nature are heard here and leads to the next track, the title one. "Stray Fire" is the title song of the album, having a little more punch in the chorus than the other songs heard before. The bass is loudly rendered, I like it pretty much but for some listeners it may sound too much. The guitars are superb, especially the clean ones.Nice choice for a title one. For now this is the peak of the album and putting it on track four over six, is the right decision.

"Rudi's Song (Thirst for Life)" welcomes us with nice melodies, mainly two ones intertwined sharing the place with floating guitars lines. This song sounds so aerial, like flying or something. It got me seeing images of clouds, the bluest skied and peaks on the horizon seeking the warmth of the sun. Very evocative song for me i am impressed. Close your eyes and let the music make you travel. Love it. "Beacon" is the last gift on that album.We have the same approach but in this one, the writing is different.We got variations, evolution (ten minutes long makes space for that), theoretically this song has all what it needs in a modern progressive rock song. It grows in intensity gradually,becoming a burst of energy and aggressiveness and impulsiveness to get the listener to the grand finale. Success for me. OPUS OF A MACHINE can look like the hundreds of screaming and technical modern Proggers out there that lacks whats the most important in music: FEELING. But they're not. They vulgarize what could me even more complex but maybe too much.They have a well balanced blend of technicality , complexity without getting caught in the dull trap. They are using elements that's been heard before but in an intelligent and refreshing way. I hope they have a long journey together. They succeeded here.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10


4 Star Rating

1. Strength in Stone
2. Up. Out
3. Wild/Unknown
4. Stray Fire
5. Rudi's Song (Thirst for Life)
6. Beacon
Mitchell Legg – Vocals, Guitars
Dale Prinsse – Bass
Trevor Gee – Drums
Zac Greensill – Guitars, Programming, Keys, Samples
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 13 May 2021

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