Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mechina - Xenon (2014)

It seems like the industrial death metal band Mechina is trying to create a new years tradition. On the 1st of January in 2011, they released their second record "Conqueror". Last year, they released their third full length album "Empyrean" on the 1st of January. And now, they have released their fourth album "Xenon" on, you guessed it, the 1st of January. A tradition I hope more bands embrace. Cause what would be better than starting the new year with some fresh metal.

"Xenon" is at first glance very similar to its predecessor. It mixes heavy death metal beats with more spaced out melodies, and they also show a decent mix of harsh and clean vocals. But one thing that delights me very much is the huge improvement in the production area, which was my main complaint with "Empyrean". It is still not a perfect production, but it is as good as a self released title can make it.

There is no filler on "Xenon", but there are neither any songs on the album that really stands out from the others. Simply put, there are 10 high quality songs that makes an impressive piece of an album. But if I had a gun pointed at my head, then I would probably put "Xenon", "Zoticus", "Terrea" and "Thales" as the high points of this album. But it should also be pointed out that I think the overall music quality was slightly better in "Empyrean", even though the quality difference between these albums is more or less non existent.

So are there any negative sides with "Xenon"? Well, besides from the fact that there is no song that really stands out, I do not see any real forward progress from the band. The music is the same as it was on "Empyrean", which brings up this question. Is the band out of new ideas or are they just over confident with their existing sound? No matter what, let me see some progress in the fifth album guys, okay?

Musically speaking, there is almost no difference from the last album to this, the difference is instead most noticeable in the production, which feels more well polished and professional this time around, thereby making "Xenon" the best album so far by Mechina. Their unique death metal style is very exciting and I think that this Chicago group has all the tools to make it in this business. Just a matter of screwing together the IKEA furniture for them.

Songs worthy of recognition: Thales, Xenon, Terrea

Rating: 8,5/10 Phedras

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