Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ASSIGNMENT: "Inside of The Machine"

Rating: RR
Label: Mausoleum 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

When Assignment and company starts describing themselves and their latest effort as an ambitious and entertaining work of melodic progressive metal, you know it's not going to be the entire truth. Are they melodic and progressive? Absolutely. Only in style and not quite as much on record though. Let me type it down like this. If anything, 'Inside Of The Machine', try to come across as the perfect mixture of Melodic Rock, Symphonic ditto, and Progressive Metal. It feels however like something not quite right, correct, or ready for showcase?

The constant copy/cut/paste work of pro-tools? and the really gritty barbwire singers (Michael Bormann, Carsten Kaiser, and at times Mats Leven) tend to get on your nerves in the long run. The production, too thin and somehow noisy to fit the melodic prog and let's not mention the drums as they are simply not there in my book. However, Gert Sprick behind the keyboards delivers top notch stuff from the word go. The compositions are difficult to tell apart with the exception of the opening tracks and especially 'Upload the System' and 'I Am The Machine' are great. The first being the nice and long instrumental piece and the latter killer metal reminiscent of Judas Priest and Malmsteen.

I do not normally have any problem with singers such as Bormann and Kaiser, but they feel forced and strained somehow. Not as confident as usual on this particular record. Let's blame it on production, huh? Perhaps you're not meant to include raspy lead vocals on complex ultra melodic prog albums? I don't know, but some thing's out of order and merely the performances by Levén (Treat, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc) and Robin 'First Time' Beck, saves the Assignment from complete failure.

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