Sunday, March 19, 2017

SELFMACHINE: "Societal Arcade"

Rating; RRr
Label: Wormholedeath Records
Review by Martien Koolen

The Dutch metal band Selfmachine released their full length debut album called Broadcast Your Identity in 2014 and the reviews were very positive, sometimes even overwhelming. Now, three years later Selfmachine, consisting of: Steven Leijen (vocals), Mark Brekelmans (bass guitar), Michael Hansen (guitars), John Brok (lead guitar) and Ben Schapers (drums), bring out their follow-up album called: Societal Arcade. The album is mixed and mastered by two notorious, legendary producers Waldemar Sorychta and Dennis Koehne, who already produced albums for excellent bands like Moonspell and Grip Inc. Societal Arcade contains 13 tracks of which 9 are not my cup of tea and that is due to the fact that in these 9 songs the band tortures me with grunts. For those of you who do not know this by now: I f... HATE grunting, as for me it has nothing to do with singing whatsoever; sorry guys! So, that leaves 4 songs for me to like and tell someting about. Giddy-up!, nice title by the way, is the first track I really like; it is heavy, sometimes even trashy, it has a catchy chorus and a great guitar solo and only, thank god for that, a very little bit of grunting....No Cliche is an excellent rock ballad with an amazing melodic guitar solo and this song proves that Steven Leijen can really sing! Nothing Worth is also a huge metal track, without grunts, with heavy hooks and riffs and that one actually reminds of Alice In Chains. The album ends with the best song of the entire album called Luminous Beings. It is also the longest track (6:03) and it is rather dark, mysterious and it has a great build up,also featuring two marvellous guitar solos and some great vocal performance. Why not make an album with only songs like the latter or the other three songs without grunts? If the grunting was skipped from the entire album then this would have been a more than excellent metal album and my rating would have been much higher and more positive; but as I stated before: I HATE grunting, and again sorry, guys. Next time, third album without grunts??

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