From the start, you can stay two things about Australia's Mechanical Organic: they have vivid imaginations and create some interesting progressive metal. Their fifth release, This Global Hive, Part One, like previous offerings, is a concept album, and a strange one at that. The first sentence from its description gives you a taste: "This Global Hive Part One explores the black awakening, satanic ritual abuse, the creation of satanic super soldiers, multiple personality disorder and demonic mind control program used to ensure the global chaos that beckons." Can you say 'conspiracy theory?'
Mechanical Organic:: listen to samples.
As creepy as that may sound, within This Global Hive, Part One there's some satisfying melodic progressive metal. It can be heavier and have a darker feeling, which may come from the conceptual ideas. Mechanical Organic is in the realm of traditional progressive metal, like a Dream Theater with the moodiness of Evergrey. The arrangements are necessarily intriguing offering swirling keyboards and piano, defined and directed bass lines, assertive but not punishing drumming, and skillful and lively guitar solos. David Bellion's vocal style lends character to the music, with a quivering melancholic tone.
You get the breadth of these ingredients across the entire album, but some songs accent the darker nature of the album than others: specifically, Street Corner Symphony, Artistic Atrocities, and the nearly 20 minute, The Dark Ones Know, which likely summarizes the conceptual theme.
Regarding this theme, one thing the listener must contend with is some ongoing narration through This Global Hive. It can consume an entire piece as with the opening Meek as a Dove Wise as a Serpent or weave in an out, to lesser or greater extent, as within The Dark Ones Know. Certainly this Mechanical Organic's attempt is to explain their conspiratorial story, yet it can be pervasive enough to annoy. Nevertheless This Global Hive, Part One is a fine achievement for Mechanical Organic; a rich and expansive album of heavier and darker melodic progressive metal. Recommended.