since the whole inception of melodic power metal into God
’s green planet, there has been a never ending formation of acts choosing to pay tributes to the council of elder gods that comprises of the likes of Iron Maiden, Helloween
, Blind Guardian
, Running Wild
, Grave Digger
etc or for that matter the torch bearers of the 90s like Gamma Ray
. Many came, saw the light of day and then simply either vanished into obscurity or continued to release a slew of albums that just didn’t feel Origin
al or heavy enough to grab you by your throat. Flower metal, an intended pun on power metal with extra layers of cheese that often serve as bait for dragons and wizards was another such phase that just didn’t feel all that appealing after a certain period of time.
In such a competitive landscape, a young band known as Machinae Supremacy
choose not to fly so far back in time to the fantasies of the middle ages, but rather to a more recent past when computers and video games were just on the verge of revolutionizing the whole concept of indoor entertainment and merge the idea nicely with crunchy power metal to create an absolutely unique genre in music, very few have attempted or failed to even conjure up. This genre is known as SID metal, SID being the sound device that was used in old commodore computers that was extremely popular during the early 80s. The overall sound feels like a huge throwback to the Nintendo and Atari times when Contra and Mario were at the tip of everybody’s tongues but with heavy metal riffs to beef up the listening experience.
is the band’s fourth studio album and much like the previous releases, its all about their passion for old school video games. Having said that, the music and songwriting are a lot better and the production is simply magnificent. Vocals can fall somewhat flat at times but they suit the band’s sound. The SID effects in the background along with the hard riffs are just perfect. The title track is the best one on the album with some pounding riffs and a killer solo in the middle. Tracks such as “Need
for Steve” and “Radio Future” make good use of the SID chip, while a power ballad tendency is easily heard on the ambitious “Skin
” which goes into complete overdrive in the second half. A cover of one of the most hated names in the music industry, Britney Spears sounds surprisingly good even though the omission of it wouldn’t have left the album incomplete.
There are times when the band steps perilously close to the boundaries of new age alternative, but despite the few shortcomings there’s no denying that the talent of the band is immense and the possibility of attaining superstar status wont elude them for too long. Even though I dig more eighties fodder, bands like these keep my level of interest high in new releases. Keep a track of this Swedish troupe; they’re a very interesting act indeed. Ever
heard of Video game metal? Try this.