Mechina – Progenitor (Self-Released)Monday, 11th January 2016
In what has seemingly become a tradition over the past few years, we are treated to a new Mechina release right around January 1st. This year was no different, with Progenitor being their fifth album in a series of conceptually based releases. The band has managed to catch a bit of a buzz for themselves as well, and rightly so, with their version of cinematic and symphonic extreme metal doing a great job of developing into something that is uniquely their own.
What stands out about Progenitor compared with previous efforts is how cohesive it is. It’s easy to get lost in the band’s sound and truly think of it as one track with multiple movements due to the varied directions. There’s the intensity of Behemoth, the jackhammer industrial rhythms of Fear Factory, the bombastic and cinematic symphonic elements of Fleshgod Apocalypse or Dimmu Borgir, and an electronic component that feels akin to the efforts of Neurotech or Season of Ghosts. Top it off with a combination of powerful roars, processed clean male vocals, and some clean female singing on the vocal front. Lyrically, Mechina has crafted their own universe and one may need to do some research (perhaps on the band’s wiki) to fully appreciate this front. It’s a lot to take in, but it’s startlingly well-handled and put together.
There’s not a weak moment to be found on the album, but a few highlights are in order. “Ashes of Old Earth” gives a good impression of what to expect on the disc in its shifts from explosive drums and growls into atmospheric and sci-fi beauty. The Mel Rose led “The Horizon Effect” is downright enchanting in its combination of electronics and mechanized guitar/drumwork. The real metal monster is that of “Planetfall,” which drops any and all restraint on the previous tracks in favor of a full-out assault. Combining death metal ferocity with the cinematic landscape is nothing short of exhilarating. But all of that is seemingly eclipsed by one of the strongest album closers in recent memory when the title track starts. There’s such a triumphant feeling to this song, it’s hard to adequately put it into words. It’s aggressive, soaring, and acts as a huge payoff at the end of the album.
Mechina’s strongest effort to date, Progenitor takes everything the band has done well to this point and puts it in a sleek and stunning package. Those looking for some metal with a strong sci-fi element that isn’t afraid to operate outside of the lines will have found their new favorite band here.