Disappointing. That's one word for Metal Machine's debut album Free Nation. Other words would include nearly unlistenable, poorly done, or cringe worthy. Honestly. I think I only listened to one song, maybe two songs, straight through, from beginning to end. That was done with the attempt to listen to the album two times, something mandatory before reviewing it. Usually, I listen to the album while writing the review. This means that, right now, I should be listening to Metal Machine, but I'm not. I can't.
But let's back up a bit. Metal Machine is essentially vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Csaba Zvekan of Exorcism, Raven Lord, and Killing Machine fame. Now he strolls the metal path alone, without learning anything from his past experiences. Read on. He wrote and arranged all the songs, then produced, mixed, and mastered the entire album. (This is probably where the problem lies. I don't think he knows the very least about producing music.) Besides the vocals, he provided rhythm guitar and keyboards. Assisting him with guitar and drum programming is Pierre Andre Mougenot. I have know idea who he is.
Zvekan's vocals are on the order of classic screamo heavy metal. He sings clean (mostly), but he's basically going after something of mix between Halford, Sean Peck (Cage), and that screamo dude/dick from Lord Vulture. He's all over the place in his approach. When he goes screamo he sounds like somebody is mashing his hairy nuts with a rubber mallet. When he calms down, well, he's even more uninteresting. I'm thinking, at this point, after two agonizing listens, that Metal Machine is basically an ego project.
After this, I'm not sure how much more there is to say, since I can barely listen to this music. The riffs seem warmed over from the last Cage album. The drum programming sounds like, well, drum programming. Rattle and hum. Enough with the blast beats. The mix and mastering is terribly uneven. One song will be squashed and muted by riffage, another as clear as a cloudy day. For an album built around a songwriter and vocalist, on many songs, Zvekan is often sounds muffled or diminished (which might be a good thing).
Fundamentally, for some one who loves traditional heavy/power metal, I couldn't listen to this album without stopping halfway through a song and skipping to the next. Only to repeat the process. I'd like to think that, maybe, just maybe, I got some shit digital promo by accident, something garbled in the download. But that's not the case. Free Nation is a very difficult listen. Nevertheless, give Zvekan credit for his heavy metal inspiration and enthusiasm, but I think he needs to go back to the drawing board and begin again. I'll pass on this one.
BTW: Normally, I would add a video or some sort of music clip below so you might sample the wares. But I wanted to spare the reader the horror of listening to Metal Machine. You'll thank me later.
Hey, you read my reviews for my candor and honesty, my personal listening opinion. Well, you got it. Be advised.
Give Metal Machine's creator and vocalist Csaba Zvekan credit for his heavy metal inspiration and enthusiasm, but I think he needs to go back to the drawing board and begin again. I'll pass on this one.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]