(This little round-up is provided to you courtesy of NCS writer DGR.)
Chicago’s Mechina are now close to five months in from their unleashing their excellent release Empyrean. However, they’re not a band to just sit on their laurels and instead have been hard at work on quite a bit of new music. They’ve already discussed a follow-on trilogy of musical releases — which in itself is ambitious as hell — but the group have also been putting out the occasional oddball single/cover and have recently made a couple of them available for free download.
It’s done through a website called WeTransfer, which I’ve never heard of before, but it seems legit and it checked out on the two webrep style programs I use, and neither song has given me any crazy-ass computer sickness as of the thirty minutes ago that I downloaded these things. Plus; if anything does happen we know the band are based in the Chicago area and, really, how hard is it to find four or five guys within a mass of millions, right? Now, let’s discuss the songs.
First up is “Anicetus” – which is an electronica-augmented song that the band proclaims is a “dubstep/whatthehellyoucallit” track made for the hell of it. As someone who has been exposed to an oddly heavy amount of the genre I can say that yes, there are definite elements of it throughout the whole song, so there’s no denying its presence. However, the amount of noise, guitars, electronics, and orchestral elements combine to make something that is oddly compelling.
It’s not what you’d expect from this band, and from the way they talk about it, it seems as if this is likely a one-off, but it does hit hard enough to be enjoyable – provided you’re not one of the predictable grognards who tends to use the “WAAAAAH, it sounds like transformers fucking!” complaint. Don’t get me wrong, it totally does – but you guys need to get some new insults. Workshop them out in the comments, if I have time I’ll drop in to let you know how well you’re doing on a scale of “Get off my lawn” to “Old man yells at cloud”.
Round Two has us checking out Mechina’s recent cover of Fear Factory’s “Zero Signal”. Given that Fear Factory are one of the bands to whom Mechina constantly find themselves being compared (and not without merit either), it isn’t too shocking to see them break this fucker out. The song is also stunningly on the money for being a cover track – the trademark orchestration is there and the tone is a little darker, but damn if it still doesn’t sound recognizably like “Zero Signal”. They did a crazy good job on this cover and managed to make it sound more epic than the original.
Gothminister are something of an oddball entity amongst my vast pantheon of shitty musical taste. The goth rock group have always been hugely theatrical and their tendency to get heavier and heavier as they’ve gone through their career has kept me interested, despite shifting from the initial weird Gundam-looking thing on the album Empire Of Dark Salvation that got me into them to something that looked more fitting for The Crow on Anima Inferna and Happiness In Darkness (both of which I’ve enjoyed).
Now the group have donned full-on zombie makeup for their new disc Utopia – which from the sounds of it is ambitious as all hell because the group are attaching a full-blown film to the disc release. Given the group’s theatrical aspect this isn’t too shocking, but you rarely hear about things like this; the last one that really stuck out in my mind was Nightwish’s Imaginaerium and I cannot for the life of me remember how that turned out.
“Horrorshow” is a pretty standard rock song with some heavy-hitting moments (especially on the drums, which stood out on Anima Infernus as well), but it seems like this performance was taken right from their film – so you have a lot of random audio overdubbed on top of it; which includes the vocalist cutting off a zombie’s head with a chainsaw and then licking it later in the song. Also, holy shit at that mic stand – these guys may have Behemoth and Korn beat in terms of having the ridiculously unwieldy mic stand here. Still, I’m interested to see just what the band are going for here, if not just for the general absurdity of all of it. Video below.