Evil Machine - _War in Heaven_
(Arachnophobia Records, 2013)
by: Chaim Drishner (6.5 out of 10)
Evil Machine's _War in Heaven_ is a basic, cliché-ridden little album that brings fun right back into metal music (and also summons metal music's 1980s heydays), and not even consciously. Trying to look tough and Satanic, this mixed bag of black metal's croaks and thrash metal's high energy, enshrouded by death metal's obscure sound, has got everything a high caliber metal album should own in order to become pure enjoyment for those who listen. Mixing Satanic and militaristic texts and images, this Polish quartet sounds like a retro metal parody that's been taken to the extreme; the listener wouldn't quite know whether to take this band seriously or as a comical relief of some kind.

Nevertheless, the music is quite nice in terms of Neanderthal extreme metal: varying song velocities and a hollow rhythm section, coupled with tried-and-true, punk-fueled riffs, enable the music to sound 'underground' yet extremely energetic and dynamic, a kind you'd like to headbang to. This nonchalant open-mindedness with which the musicians behind the moniker are equipped, allows the music to 'breathe' in terms of not adhering zealously to one specific aesthetic, but allowing all extreme frequencies to revel, clash and converge, each aesthetic whenever it is needed the most at a specific moment. That's why you feel like you're listening to old-school death metal one moment, and to blackened thrash metal, the next; or to sequences of dirty and twisted doom/death that intermingle with ultra fast, punk-oriented black 'n' roll, and so on and so forth.

Evil Machine is comprised of some of Poland's premiere metal underground figures, and this joint know-how in terms of writing catchy, classic metal songs, is quite well executed on _War in Heaven_. This dark gem of metallic prowess will surely appease old-school-ers and metal neophytes alike.

_War in Heaven_ is a cool album for cool people. It's everything a metal fanatic could hope for, as it attacks all senses from every angle using as its weapons of choice the crudest and most virile aesthetics without falling into repetition or blatant redundancy, keeping aggression and sonic story-telling as its cornerstone, upon which every hostile metallic expression is being constructed, and while no strings are being attached to the music in terms of strict stylistic rigor, the aural fortress that Evil Machine have built is enduring and robust all the way.

This ageless, vintage/retro sounding album also hosts a couple of cover songs, originally performed by Onslaught and Venom. But that's just a bonus to an already rewarding album that truly stands on its own.

Contact: http://arachnophobia.pl

(article published 13/11/2014)


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