Machiavellian - The Impossibility Of Death In The Minds Of The Living.

Thanks to Ant for the CD and band biography. Signed earlier in the year to the Canadian label Year Of The Sun Records, this is their debut EP. Quick band intro before the review; two guitarists are Ste and Chris, Ant plays bass, Nick is on drums and the vocals are taken care of by Kris. And so to the music...

  1. Ranger. Shortest track on offer at just under four minutes but manages to pack a hell of a lot in. Drummer comes out blast-beating and the aggressive vocals leave you in no doubt where this band are heading. The slower bass-driven breakdown section is superb. Mix a lot of styles, this track exhibits thrash, death metal and hardcore sections and splices them together effortlessly. Tempo changes are deftly handled, closest band reference points to me were Daath and Thus Defiled. Quality opener.
  2. Bone Island. Six minute epic starts with a stunning blackened death section. As with the first track, it is obvious on this one that the band like their pared down, slower, vicious, sections. Like this one overall, some of the vocals grated a bit though. First solo is a cracker and sounds very much like classic Slayer, pity it's so short. Another track that blends a lot of extreme metal styles and influences very well. Lengthy outro seemed a bit pointless to me.
  3. Marxism. Longest track on offer at over eight minutes and unfortunately it feels it. Slower track initially, there is a feeling of menace and mayhem to come. The doom section is immensely powerful, my friends in local monolithic doom band I Am Colossus would be proud of this one. Approximately two minutes in all hell breaks loose. Intricate basswork leads into a very fast thrash section. The rest of the song sees tempo changes galore and another great guitar solo at around the 5' 25" mark, albeit that again it's too short! This one may well work superbly live, but on this CD I think it needs reworking, at least a minute and a half shorter.
  4. Let Home Be My Gallows. Shorter track to finish at just under the five minute mark. Furious onslaught from the word go in a blackened thrash manner. Vocals were very familiar sounding throughout this section, it's been driving me mad trying to place them. The drumming throughout is excellent, the kick-drumming on this one is stunning. The riff at 2' 10" reminded me of Sabbath's "Children Of The Grave" initially before it mutated. Solid end to the EP.

    Negatives are far outweighed by positives. The title of the EP doesn't do much for me, it's overly long and bordering on being pretentious. Marxism is too long and needs reworking, but please lengthen the solo! And now the praise section!! If these guys are anywhere near as accomplished musically as this EP suggests they must be skull-crushing live. My promotions wing, Millennium of Blood, would offer you a gig without hesitation. The complexity and differing musical styles are handled clinically well. In general the songs don't feel long which is always a good sign. The production is superb, hardly surprising as it has been produced and subsequently mastered by Chris Fielding and Russ Russell. The drumming throughout is exceptional, some of the kick-drumming is phenomenal. Overall I like this a lot and I wish the band every success when this EP is released. Can't think of any obvious reason why it won't do well.


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