Mechina – Siege (Self-Released)Sunday, 24th January 2021
Everyone’s favorite January 1st release band, Mechina have once again delivered a new dish for fans to enjoy. 2019’s Telesterion came across as a bit of a disappointment, marred by a sound that was more symphonic and cinematic than past efforts, but lacked the punch of previous offerings. Siege does continue on in this same direction, but fixes some of the sound issues that really plagued their previous album.
What drew Mechina into view to begin with was their Fear Factory-esque cyber metal routine, bolstered by a symphonic backdrop, massive story/worldbuilding, and occasional female clean vocals. As the band has evolved, vocalist Mel Rose has taken more of a front seat, to the point with Siege where it seems like it is almost a constant duet between Rose and David Holch. This isn’t a bad thing, as their vocals together have a pleasant vibe, and one that matches the sound quite well. They are a bit low in the mix though, making it feel more like a backdrop at times. The cinematic scope seems to encompass everything, so if you weren’t big on Telesterion, you will likely not enjoy this one quite as much as other releases too. For its faults though, Siege is more engaging than said album though, as the riffs can come out to play more – with later tracks “Claw at the Dirt” and “Blood Feud Erotica” providing some fine payoff with machine-gun riffing, almost coating the music into a heavier version of synthwave music. It’s an interesting sound, even if the length of the tracks occasionally bog it down.
It seems Mechina have decided on their path forward with the route of Telesterion and now Siege. It’s more atmospheric than throttling and energized for the most part, but if that’s what you are seeking it’s well done for what it is. While it may be frustrating in light of previous releases such as the phenomenal Progenitor, they’ve figured out how to make it work for them sonically. Approach with an open ear.