Full Disclosure: I’m not particularly fond of Black Metal. Too often I find it campy, silly and cacophonous. No matter how hard I try, I can’t help but think of black metal artists and (specially) fans as nerdy social rejects who have a compulsion for invisible oranges and ….satan. While there are exceptions, I often find my “prejudice” confirmed.
Now that we’ve put that out of the way, is time to focus on Blacklodge’s new album, MachinatioN, which follows in the footsteps of the band’s previous works (e.g. Solarkult and Login:Satan) mixing black and industrial metal.
MachinatioN is the kind of album that hooks you right from the beginning and doesn’t let you go until the last track is over. There’s not a single dull moment throughout these 46 minutes of ear-shattering power.
Opening with “TridenT“, the album goes straight to the point, without any of those dull atmospheric intros that are so common in this genre. Fast drums and guitars accompany the screeching voice of Saint Vincent who delivers a powerful performance in every track. While the black metal label is easy to spot in Saint Vincent’s voice as well as in Narcotic‘s guitars, the industrial elements plague the album, from the use of countless samples in “Order of Baphomet” to the electronic beats in “All Seeing Eye” and “Industrial Temple MysticA” and the breaks in “Antichrist Ex Machina” and “Culto al Sol”.
Saint Vincent seems to have been determined to use every possible combination on the drum machine in each song; while this keeps the songs interesting, at times it also creates a sense of confusion and lack of continuity (perhaps deliberate?).
It should be noted that the electronic elements in no way destroy the overall dark and brutal feeling of the album, and this is where the genius of MachinatioN truly lies. Staying true to the classic satanic motif of black metal (Satan is referenced in most songs) Blacklodge created an album that, despite having quite a few industrial beats in it, is far from getting anyone dancing.
By mixing styles, Blacklodge (a band I was completely unfamiliar with) has managed to develop their own unique sound and somehow create a product that is attractive not only to fans of Black Metal, but also to those who are into the harder styles of industrial metal (think Turmion Katilot). While it’s not a perfect album (the drum machine is a bit too chaotic at times) it sure is a great release.