Merging With Machines - _The Singularity_
(Independent, 2014)
by: Pedro Azevedo (6.5 out of 10)
Remember CoC's independent darlings Aphotic from more than a decade back? Probably not; unfortunately, they never really got much of the recognition some of us felt they deserved. Merging With Machines is the project of one of their former members, bassist and vocalist Chad. He was not a songwriter with Aphotic as far as I am aware, so the only likely similarities here concern the vocals. The music on _The Singularity_ has little or no connection to doom metal either, instead focusing on a grim, at times almost martial approach to death metal that incorporates some industrial and electronic overtones. While death vocals are at the forefront, some intelligent use of backing vocals is reminiscent of the Aphotic days. Chad now also handles drums, and he has teamed up with a guitarist to release this thirteen track full-length album.

Ironically, therein lies my main gripe: even though a lot of work must have been poured into this record, the end result might have worked significantly better as a shorter, more consistently impressive effort. There are some interesting ideas at work here, some worthwhile concepts, as illustrated by "Slaves of Saviours" and "Oblivious". However, scattered across thirteen tracks, they inevitably become diluted by occasional run-of-the-mill riffs and less engaging elements -- only to be expected from the first effort by an independent duo. A more focused and judicious approach could well have yielded a concise nugget of electronic-tinged death to which one would want to go back more frequently. All that said, there is still evidence of hope for this duo: time will tell how Merging With Machines grow from here.


(article published 30/5/2014)

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