One Machine - The Distortion of Lies and the Overdriven Truth

One Machine The Distortion of Lies and the Overdriven Truth cover
One Machine
The Distortion of Lies & the Overdriven Truth
Scarlet Records
I tend to have this rule, that when a band’s name or a title, is purposely long winded, unless that has happened to piss off, someone, because there was some sort of “limit” enforced, ie cases where artists, came up with 99 word titles because their companies insisted on very simple 2 word titles and such… well, in all other cases when names and titles tend to be more than 3 words, the results, tend to verge on suckage, with varying levels of shittiness being the case.
In the case of One Machine we have one of these cases at least with the title… Steve Smyth, who’s name you might recognize as he’s been in and out of many bands as the second guitarist (Testament, Nevermore, Forbidden, Dragonlord, Vicious Rumors) is the mainman here. He’s not the worst guy ever to grace the guitar world, but I suppose the quasi modern style, his compositions and his rather not very imaginative style on this album, would not really set him apart from the sea of other talent around, he’s a sufficient player, but nothing that you haven’t heard before. In One Machine, Smyth teams up with Mikkel Sandager (ex-Mercenary) on vocals, who’s a quite capable chap and tries hard to do stuff on the album, but cannot for all his efforts, cannot be really remembered for some superbly great moment on this album, just because there isn’t any particular song that would be a “hit” as per ce. The last couple of songs tend to be a little better and more memorable, in terms of vocal lines, but marginally so... Jamie Hunt from some line-up of the UK techno thrash combo Biomechanical that presumably ain’t no longer with us, is sharing guitar duties with Smyth, while Tomas Koefoed from Mnemic on bass and Michele Sanna on drums are the rhythm section. (Raphael Saini from Italian progressive metallers Chaoswave played on the album).
The band’s style is such an amalgam of sounds that you’re either going to love or hate it completely and in my case, I felt, that it was a complete, incoherent mess, a mismass of influences, that tried to fuse together Pantera, In Flames, Judas Priest, Nevermore, Slipknot and this New American Sound all into one package, but not “under” one sound... just jumping from vocals and riff style to the other, every other verse and song. You get some very short pointless leads that go nowhere... some extreme vocals that surely show the capability of the vocalist, but in a way, just feel as silly and pointless as Yngwie Malmsteen’s endless solos, (plus in most cases, Yngwie J. (the J is there to tell him from the impostors!) Malmsteen’s solos tended to be more conclusive, if you could survive through them, they sort of ended at some point! This entire album pretty much goes by, without any real highlights, but if I had to really pick some songs that I feel fared a bit better than the rest and maybe could have been better with some different arrangement, those would be the eponymous “One Machine”, “Kill the Hope Inside” which is somewhat more melodic and slightly more accessible… “Last Star Aligns” that tries to smooth things out and the explosive, riffy “Freedom and Pain”... but overall, the songwriting of the album, suffers a great deal, with long winded tracks that barely have half a hook to keep the listeners interest. Roy Z’s mix and the mastering by some dude that has done work for 3 Inches of Blood ain’t too bad, but when the material is not that great, it’s immaterial... even the best production in the world, wouldn’t save this album from mediocrity.