Supermachiner
Rise Of The Great Machine


4.0
excellent

Review

by Lelle USER (5 Reviews)
September 30th, 2012 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Atmospheric. Emotional. Hypnotic. A remarkable album.

I first stumbled upon Rise of the Great Machine when I was on the hunt for some ambient, hypnotic music to just relax to, and I’m very glad I did. Starting out in 1994 as a side project of vocalist Jacob Bannon, who was eventually joined by Ryan Parker, Seth Bannon, and guitarist Kurt Ballou, Supermachiner is very, very different from the hardcore punk of his main band Converge. Showing influence from acts such as Bauhaus and Swans, Rise of the Great Machine is very atmospheric with floating instrumentals built around minimalistic songwriting, featuring soft, melodic singing and also some purely ambient tracks.

I Am Legend is a good example of what the album has to offer. Beginning with a dreamily plucked guitar line, drums, additional guitars and finally vocals join in until the track builds into a glorious climax where distorted singing mixes with ecstatic tremolo picking. Like most tracks on this album, I Am Legend is built around a single musical idea which is repeated and expanded upon in an almost hypnotic fashion. What is so special about Rise of the Great Machine, though, is a vibrating sense of timelessness and emotion that is ever present in the songs. Even in their most serene moments, the songs have a certain dark ambience about them. One of my favorite tracks, The War We'll Never Win, is really expressive despite the calming surface of the song, its dreamlike guitars, interlaced with soft, shoegaze-like singing being introduced with chirping crickets . More apparent are these darker undertones in the purely ambient Vicious Circles, which could be used as the soundtrack to some horror game.

One thing that prevents the minimalistic songwriting from getting stale is the creative way a variety of instruments are being utilized. In Below You bongo drums, cellos, guitars and somebody tapping on a glass are all used in a percussive manner, and as ethereal howls courtesy of J. Bannon soar distantly among the instrumentals a most chilling, atmospheric soundscape is created. This track is difficult to do justice in writing; it is both intriguing and intense.

But the most intense experience on the album is the bizarre and crushing Bitter Cold. Being the only truly heavy track, it utilizes unsettling Texas Chainsaw Massacre samples, an ominous guitar line and heavily distorted screaming in its climax. Following this track are some of the more jarring moments of the album, from the slightly off key singing in A New Loss to the pure noise of Fireflies Light the Way. The final tracks bring a great sense of closure, Declaration Two being soothing with its electronic ambience softly washing over the listener, and the final track Reign of the Great Machine utilizing the harmonic progression of opening track Rise of the Great Machine to nicely tie the entire album together in a musical bow. This album should definitely be listened to as a whole.

My only criticisms would be that some tracks start out with great ideas but end before being developed enough, and that Fireflies Light the Way and its “experimental” distorted rumbling just goes on far too long. I also find Bitter Cold and its female screaming samples to be too uncomfortable to listen to at times. But maybe I'm just a pussy, and in the end, Rise of the Great Machine is a great record. Creative and emotional, at times bizarre and intense, this album communicates a vibrating sense of timelessness and emotion. If you enjoy acts such as Bauhaus or Swans, post rock, post punk, drone, experimental, ambient or any similar type of music, you should check Rise of the Great Machine out.


user ratings (29)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Lelle
September 30th 2012


2188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Figured this needed a review. I really like this album

ffs
September 30th 2012


4984 Comments


not that good at all

ThunderNeutral21
September 30th 2012


3864 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i thinkits really good not a 4.5

Lelle
September 30th 2012


2188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

couldnt decide, its a very strong 4 for me at least. eh ill put a 4 to make it a little more objective

ffs
September 30th 2012


4984 Comments


havent listened to the whole thing in years to be honest, i'd probably rate it lower if i could be bothered to listen again

if it wasnt jacob bannon no one would give a shit. its a seriously bloated + weak attempt at what its going for

eternium
September 30th 2012


16352 Comments


I've thought about listening to this but never did.

ffs
September 30th 2012


4984 Comments


nothing wrong with the review tho, other than the usual hyperbole

Lelle
September 30th 2012


2188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

@ffs i disagree, personally I don't care who made it as long as it's good. my rating started out as a 3 i think but it grew into a strong 4 after i'd listened to it for a while

Yazz_Flute
September 30th 2012


18929 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agree with ffs.

ThunderNeutral21
September 30th 2012


3864 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

digging enslaved



tell us moar!

Lelle
October 1st 2012


2188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

you should give it a couple more spins since you like Om and similar stuff. it grows on you

slipnslide
December 21st 2012


2639 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album is a bunch of largely forgettable tracks, with a small handful of really nice ones.



but, on the other hand, its jake bannon.



He draws circles and screams incoherently.



3.5 possible 4.0





slipnslide
December 21st 2012


2639 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fuck it. 5.0 best album in the database

Lelle
December 22nd 2012


2188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I think it's not so much about the individual tracks as the entire experience. But sure there is some unecessary stuff on here

slipnslide
December 22nd 2012


2639 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"aight"=4 must have

slipnslide
February 14th 2013


2639 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

bump

Artuma
August 20th 2014


19417 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

bump [2]

Digging: Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy

bornthetravestyofman
May 8th 2015


71 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listening to this after watching the Animatrix and thinking about dark sci-fi has been a cathartic experience for me. I also feel an irrational attachment to the album artwork.

Digging: Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy



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