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Witch Child - Machine Enslavement

Witch Child
Machine Enslavement
by Ian Yera at 03 December 2021, 10:44 PM

Ah good old fashioned traditional heavy metal, with a splash of 80s/90s Speed/Thrash Metal. WITCH CHILD very much not in my wheelhouse and I feel you all deserve that disclaimer, but I do have a small place in my heart for the genre and I will do my best to tell you dear readers how to feel about this album. First of all, if you're like me and for some reason you're reading this; the vocals aren't exactly great, but the raw energy of the guitar riffs definitely help make up for that. For those who are a fan of the genre I think unfortunately the rhythm guitar parts aren't particularly interesting, but the lead guitar does a good job. What makes analyzing this difficult is the mix. The production overall is oddly cluttered and different instruments seem to rise and fall in the mix at weird times. Sometimes the vocals are very difficult to hear, I can barely hear the bass at all and the guitars just sound very hazy, like I'm listening to them through cheap headphones. Now there is a certain charm to the production, that feels very early 90s and I can imagine will appeal to some, but if you like your mixing to be more clear and precise this might not be the album for you.

Getting to the actual music, there's an interesting mix of styles going on here, culminating with “Wages of Sin” trying for a 90s Heavy Doom Metal twist that I actually found quite intriguing. The riffs are just the right level of filthy smut, coupled with the rough production this song probably feels the most authentic of the whole album. The rest of the album is much closer to thrash metal, but because the production sounds like I'm listening to the music through a dense cloud, it's hard to make out a lot of the details. What I'm saying is that while I was listening to the last track I realized that I kind of wish the whole album had been this kind of Heavy Doom Metal. It just seems to fit their style better and the production and mix certainly do this song better justice.

I'm sorry I don't have much else to say about Machine Enslavement because honestly, it's pretty bad. I try to be very positive for a critic, I don't like bashing any band or album without a good reason and I tried to find the good in this, I really did. Well I did find some good, the interlude “Somber Somnolence” leading into “Wages of Sin” (the last two songs) are easily the best parts of this album. I don't like being too harsh on production and mixing because I went to college for those things and I know how difficult it is to get a mix right. However (and I have NEVER said this in a review before), I'm pretty sure I could actually do a better job with this mix and I have an extremely low opinion of my own skills. Sorry WITCH CHILD, I tried but this just sounds rough. My advice, get a better vocalist, get a better sound engineer and start playing more doom metal, trust me.


Songwriting: 6/10
Musicianship: 6/10
Memorability: 4/10
Production: 3/10

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Wormhole/Machine Enslavement
2. Bleeding for You
3. Destroying Angel
4. When Danger Calls
5. Somber Somnolence
6. Wages of Sin
Lineup:
Fernando Guillen - Bass
Aaron Coranado - Drums
Randy Carbajal - Guitars
Locust - Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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