If Nevermore was a heavy beer, then these guys would be the light version
Forming in 2001, Machinery (who are currently vocalist/guitarist Michel Isberg, guitarist Mano Lewys, bassist Peter Berg, keyboardist Fredrik Klingwall and drummer Johan Westman) released their debut album, Degeneration, in 2006, after a couple of demos in the years before. The Nevermore-isms were quite significant on their debut platter, and now, almost two years on, their sophomore album, The Passing, has just been released. The thing is, some of those Nevermore-isms are still present, even if they have been scaled down somewhat.
It is still difficult not to draw some kind of Nevermore comparison, particularly in a “light” sense. The opening cut, Cold, at times sees Isberg's vocals piquing into Warrel Dane (Nevermore) territory in small ways, and whilst Isberg's and Lewys' twin guitar attack is nowhere near that of Nevermore axemen Jeff Loomis and Steve Smyth, there are elements of their style popping up here and there. But at the other end of the spectrum is Reason Is The Truth which combines some tight melodic sensibilities with a guttural vocal growl also courtesy of Isberg. You'd almost swear it wasn't the same band. The slower I Divine showcases some powerful vocals and tight guitar playing (particularly when the pace picks up), unlike the quicker and longer Dead Man which generally lacks that spark to make it really shine.
While Delirium In Vengeance bursts out of the blocks with a head of speed with vocals sounding like Tomas Lindberg (Nightrage, At The Gates) at times, other than the dynamic Decide By Pain, Bloodline, The Passing and Waiting For The Wave skate closer to that Nevermore vibe, musically more so than vocally. Although, at times, Isberg's vocals do still carry some Warrel Dane-isms that does little to aid in establishing Machinery as an act in their own right.
The Passing is a solid enough outing for these Swedes, but when all is said and done, the kicker is that none of the nine tracks that I just spent three quarters of an hour digesting really stuck in my mind. Sure when I came back to them, I dug 'em again, but until that point, I found myself unable to recall anything about what I'd just heard. That in itself speaks volumes.
(Regain Records/Riot! Entertainment)