Review Summary: An excellent debut that displays the songwriting and technical chops of very few bands. This is a mixed bag of different styles and while it can be derivative it times it is memorable and well played. It shows what future releases may have been with a mor1 of 1 thought this review was well written
This is my first review, be constructive with your criticism please.
So Biomechanical are a band from the UK led by Greek vocalist John K who prior to this album performed on Balance Of Power's 'Heathen Machine' album. As well as being vocalist for this outfit he is somewhat the brainchild of this project as he writes 99% of the music and lyrics including the orchestral parts.
Biomechanical (on this release) play a combo of power metal, classic heavy metal, groove metal, progressive metal, and technical math-metal with black metal undertones and film-score inspired orchestral moments. Sound like a lot to handle? Well it is. If I had to compare them to other bands I would say that if Meshuggah, Pantera, Judas Priest, Nevermore and Queensryche all got involved in a drunken orgy together then Biomechanical would be the aftermath. These guys do tend to wear their influences on their collective sleeves but at the same time they still come off as sounding surprisingly original and really inspired.
'Eight Moons' is the first of a three album long concept, the second part is their second album 'Empires of the Worlds' (2005) and part 3 was released in 2008 with the title 'Cannibalised'. Each album has followed the storyline of the protagonist and has become progressively more technical and insane in writing and production. Eight Moons is the most subdued and conventional in regards to songwriting.
How is the album you ask? Well 'Eight Moons' opens with the track 'The Awakening' which graces your ears with some dark, brooding growling noises before an insane plethora of riffs and orchestral fourishes rip out of your speakers. The song moves into a somewhat standard metal riff for the verse but it has some cool harmonies and a groove that would have both Chuck Schuldiner and Dimebag air-guitaring along to up in heavy-metal heaven, the song unfolds into an epic chorus with some great orchestral moments and Jon K singing along in a style similar to both Halford and Tate, theres not enough good things to say about this guy he is truly a vocalist for true heavy metal fans. The song goes along at mid pace some more before it rips into a really fantastic solo by either Chris Webb or Jamie Hunt, I can't remember who does what solo's on this album.
Do You Know Me? speeds things up with a fast paced Pantera-esque groove riff and a pre-chorus and chorus not too disimilar from Painkiller-era Judas Priest. John gives an absolutely vicious vocal performance on this song where he sounds a bit like Phil Anselmo in the verse and again goes into those Halford registers in the verse. The drummer shows his awesome chops on this song. After a slow dark bridge we are treated to a high speed ripping solo and then back again into the epic chorus.
It would spoil it for you guys if I described all of the songs like I have for the first two but I can tell you that there is enough stuff on here to please even the most picky of metal heads. There are slow epic songs like the very dark but truly amazing 'In The Core Of Darkness' or the slow but agressive 'Distorted', and then there are fast songs like the blood-pumping 'Hunted' with its fist-in-the-air chorus or the frantic start-stop riffing in 'No Shadows'. If 'epic' is what you are after then look no further then the title track which is a mainly orchestral song that has a vocal performance that is truly gripping in its range, emotion and power and a schizophrenic guitar solo to boot, or check out the album closer 'Point Of No Return' which starts out as an atmospheric acoustic song before it hits the half-way point and turns into probably the fastest, heaviest and most retarded song on the album. If you are after something catchy, then... well all of the songs are catchy, but 'Save Me' is the closest thing on here to a single, it has a gentle acoustic guitar harmony in the verse and a really big heavy metal chorus, it can come of sounding a little 'glammy' but it adds to the albums palet of different sounds and its a really good song.
If you are expecting a full on thrash assault like on 'Empires of the Worlds' or completely of the wall song structures like on 'Cannibalised' then you will be a a little let down, this album does have those maniacal thashy moments of insanity but first and foremost this is a progressive classic heavy metal album unlike 'Empires' and 'Cannibalised' which are unrelenting prog-thrash assaults. The songs on this album are more varied in their tempo's and there is a greater emphasis on creating catchy heavy metal songs and telling the story. That is why I love this album, it is really varied, it has fast thrashy songs, mid-paced groove songs and slow brooding songs, I also think John's vocals are better on this album because he actually sings most of the time and lets his vocals soar, whereas on the later releases he screams more. The production is great but it could be a bit better, the musicianship is amazing and the songwriting is really smart, there is not a bad song on this album. Easily my favourite Biomechanical release despite the popularity of their later releases.
This is in no way a perfect album but I highly recomend it to fans of both modern and old school metal, this is a very impressive debut.