Machine Men
Scars and Wounds


5.0
classic

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
October 12th, 2007 | 22 replies | 7,150 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If the 1984 Iron Maiden line-up made an album today, it would be Scars and Wounds.

Released around seven months ago, Machine Men's third full length album just might be the best the metal genre has to offer in 2007. And even though the competition has been fairly slim, with only Dark Tranquillity's Fiction, Thunderstone's Evolution 4.0, and perhaps Ensiferum's Victory Songs coming close to topping it, the heavy, Bruce Dickinson (solo material, of course) influenced Circus of Fools is good enough that it would probably be among the year's top three metal albums regardless of whether the year was productive or not. It's a great disservice to both metal fans and the Finnish band itself that Machine Men isn't more well known really, and not just because they have so much potential. Case in point; their 2003 debut album, Scars & Wounds, is one of the strongest metal albums released in the past decade.

With their debut full length album, one of Machine Men's greatest strength is the freshness in their sound. Sure, they sound like both Iron Maiden and Dickinson's metallic solo efforts. A hell of a lot like Iron Maiden and Bruce Dickinson. But unlike many of their fellow young metal bands, they're able to convey the established traditional metal sound without sounding repetitive, tired, and unoriginal. The dual harmonies performed by J-V Hintikka and Jani Noronen as heard in the likes of Silver Chair and The Gift are performed exceedingly well and express a rather moving, mournful sound. The riffs have a very Roy Z-esque crunch to them, which offers listeners a heavier edge (though not at the same level thrashy influence heard in Circus of Fools), but the band manages not to over do it ala Symphony X or perhaps Grave Digger.

I hate to keep comparing this band to Iron Maiden, but if there was a single link between the two band's styles which I enjoyed the most (besides the obvious Dickinson – Parviainen similarities), it would be the lack of guitar noodling to be found through out the near 45 minute release. That isn't to say that they don't solo, Against the Freaks contains a rather quick-paced, energetic solo that could certainly rival one Adrian Smith's or Glenn Tipton's compositions. Neither Hintikka nor Noronen indulge themselves in the same tasteless shredding of the DragonForce's, Cellador's, or Dream Theater's of the metal world. To say that this is rather refreshing would be a major understatement.

While each of the album's songs have a certain flare to them, if Scars & Wounds contained any track which best exemplifies Machine Men's strengths, it would definitely be the title track. One of the slower, more haunting moments of the album, Scars & Wounds is an epic of sorts, though not of the grandiose variety. Opening with brief acoustic chords, the music conveys both sombre and eerie emotions which compliment the lyrics extremely well. Speaking of the lyrics, they're not exactly the finest aspect of either the song or the album. They're clumsily written and at times feature broken English, but then again seeing as they're a young Finnish band that shouldn't be too much of a surprise. And even then, the efforts of vocalist Antony Parviainen are good enough to distract listeners from the lyrics anyways. Perhaps the shining force in Machine Men and definitely throughout the title track, he displays incredible range and power through his voice, while managing to sound soothing and melodic all the same.

While I don't exactly believe that today's metal is utter garbage (though there are more than a handful of acts which fit such descriptions), I am quite aware that there are a few who are just a little less than pleased with the direction of the current scene. Scars & Wounds is for this person. Combining a classic sound with a more modern (read: heavier) edge, Machine Men have crafted easily one of the decade's finest metal albums. The music flows extremely well, and the band's concise song writing style makes for a rather infectious, enjoyable listen. If Iron Maiden's 1984 line-up created an album today, it would definitely be Scars & Wounds. Melodic metal at its finest.

Recommended Tracks:
Scars & Wounds
The Gift
Silver Dreams
The Beginning of the End



Recent reviews by this author
Funeral for a Friend ConduitPropagandhi Failed States
Tycho DiveMegadeth Th1rt3en
Fair to Midland Arrows and AnchorsArch Enemy Khaos Legions
user ratings (15)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



7928 Comments


im bored so im going to nitpick for fun, dont take this all too seriously

Released around seven months ago in February

you could probably just say one or the other.
While I'm don't exactly believe

typo

south_of_heaven 11
October 12th 2007



5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Summary basically makes me want this like no other.

mikem1234
October 12th 2007



108 Comments


This album was released in 2003. "Circus of Fools" was the album they released this year. Their name actually came from a Bruce Dickinson song so there's no wonder that they sound so like Bruce's solo work.

Mikesn
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you could probably just say one or the other.
I guess.

This album was released in 2003. "Circus of Fools" was the album they released this year. Their name actually came from a Bruce Dickinson song so there's no wonder that they sound so like Bruce's solo work.
no shit

Tyler
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



7928 Comments


This album was released in 2003. "Circus of Fools" was the album they released this year. Their name actually came from a Bruce Dickinson song so there's no wonder that they sound so like Bruce's solo work.

way to actually read the review. and better-yet, way to neg him for your own stupidity. This Message Edited On 10.12.07

Mikesn
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Summary basically makes me want this like no other.
Er, I hope I didn't get your expectations up too high, haha. Definitely recommend looking for it, though it is kind of expensive. Or I could just send it to you or something.

way to actually read the review. and better-yet, way to neg him for your own stupidity.
My thoughts exactly, even though I don't really care about negs.This Message Edited On 10.12.07

mikem1234
October 12th 2007



108 Comments


I only negged the review because he was comparing the album to other albums from 2007 when it was released 4 years earlier. The comment about the name was more of just an extra thing I added.

Aficionado
October 12th 2007



1027 Comments


How is that deserving of a neg? If this was the case, Trib would get a shitload of negs because he gets everything wrong.

Tyler
Emeritus
October 12th 2007



7928 Comments


He wasn't comparing this to other albums released in 2007. He mentioned their 2007 release and then used that as a segue into this, their debut album.
Seriously did you even read the review?

masscows
October 12th 2007



2236 Comments


Solid review. If this is really that good, I'll consider picking it up soon.

mikem1234
October 12th 2007



108 Comments


My bad, I skimmed over the part that said:

"Case in point; their debut album, Scars & Wounds, is one of the strongest metal albums released in the past decade."

I'll give it a positive to counteract my neg. Everything else about the review was helpful, though. Just maybe try to be more clear.

Machine Men are pretty good from what I have heard from them (I've only been on their myspace), but their singer reminds me of ZP from Dragonforce just a bit. Parviainen is a lot less over the top, as is the entire band.

mikem1234
October 12th 2007



108 Comments


My bad, I skimmed over the part that said:

"Case in point; their debut album, Scars & Wounds, is one of the strongest metal albums released in the past decade."

I'll give it a positive to counteract my neg. Everything else about the review was helpful, though. Just maybe try to be more clear.

Machine Men are pretty good from what I have heard from them (I've only been on their myspace), but their singer reminds me of ZP from Dragonforce just a bit. Parviainen is a lot less over the top, as is the entire band.

south_of_heaven 11
October 12th 2007



5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Or I could just send it to you or something.

I would love you even more if you did :D

MetalOz
October 12th 2007



20 Comments


Their entire discography is great... traditional metal with the benefits of today's production :thumb:

south_of_heaven 11
October 12th 2007



5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm loving this so far.

Mike, check your email :thumb:

Mikesn
Emeritus
October 13th 2007



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Parviainen is a lot less over the top, as is the entire band.
One of the things that make them fun to listen to.
Their entire discography is great... traditional metal with the benefits of today's production
Yep. The only thing is it makes some of the older album's production sound weaker than it did before. I never really noticed how shoddy it was.
I'm loving this so far.
Knew you would, and thanks for the Alestorm.

south_of_heaven 11
October 14th 2007



5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is incredible.
"Against the Freaks" is my favorite...love that chorus

south_of_heaven 11
October 17th 2007



5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sucks for you.
Love love love this album.

south_of_heaven 11
April 11th 2008



5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dude Mike, I played a trick on my best friend the other day using this album. He is a HUGE fan of Iron Maiden, and I put this in and once the vocalist kicks in, he goes "Dude what Maiden album is this? I've never heard it!" and I told him it's a promo full of new material that they're planning on release soon.
Later I had to tell him the truth and he was pissed, but then took a burned copy of this happily :lol:

Douchebag
January 11th 2009



3624 Comments


"While I don't exactly believe that today's metal is utter garbage (though there are more than a handful of acts which fit such descriptions), I am quite aware that there are a few who are just a little less than pleased with the direction of the current scene. Scars & Wounds is for this person."

THAT'S ME! hopefully i can find this album in the city tommorow. Their cover of Aces High and Freak blew me away.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy