Is more of the same a good thing or a bad thing? Machinae Supremacy' come back in 2008 with 'Overworld,' an album much similar to 2006's 'Redeemer'. 'Overworld,' like the previous work, is rich with speedy and intricate metal in the genres of power, progressive, and traditional heavy metal. So consistency is a good thing. The highlights of any Machinae Supremacy work is two-fold: elaborate and sometimes quirky keyboards and impressive vocal arrangements fronted by Robert Stjärnström. (How he keeps his vocals under control with the fast and rich arrangements simply amazes me.) All this is wrapped in well crafted songs, brilliant, quick, and efficient guitar work and almost flawless rhythm section. By now, I guess you know I dig this band. Rising from Sweden, this quite different Scandi metal. I like it and you should give Machinae Supremacy as listen (if you haven't done so already.)
As I mentioned before, I'm sufficiently intrigued by the progressive keyboard work although, even with some extensive research, I don't know which member does it. But this is only one part of the band. This crew is tight showing excellent collaboration as a unit. Mr. Stjärnström's vocals are both unique and compelling. Yet, I could say the same for the rest of the band.
There are impressive numbers on 'Overlord' including 'Skin' with its mild opening that reveals a powerful metal song, 'Overworld' blesses with by displaying Machinae Supremacy's traditional style, and 'Radio Future' which cruises along with a wonderful progressive pace. 'Dark City' is another number that is more progressive in nature than most on this work and it is very good. But then there's a song like 'Conveyer' which demonstrates pure Scandi power metal with clarity. Sometimes, I think the venture into a more pop metal, even glam side of rock, like on 'Gimme More.' Other songs did not impress me as much like 'Violator' and 'Stand.' All in all, there is a lot of versatility on this album, if you will only listen carefully.
The only objection some may have to Machinae Supremacy's 'Overload' is the same thing that makes it worthy of recognition: similar consistency. A narrow minded listener could easily find the whole thing blas'e because of it's underlying style. Yet I beg to differ (and this is because of my inherent prejudice: I'm a fan), listen carefully for there is more than meets the ear here. This is definitely Scandi metal, but with a clever and formidable difference. Very recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
Machinae Supremacy has a definitely unique take on proverbial Scandi metal. At times undefinable, 'Overworld' is laced with progressive, power and traditional metal. There is much to enjoy here, particularly the versatility of song composition and vocal and keyboard arrangements. Keep your ears and mind wide open: this is another fine work by Machinae Supremacy.