The Haarp Machine
Disclosure


4.5
superb

Review

by DropdeadWHA USER (35 Reviews)
October 16th, 2012 | 358 replies | 19,136 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A technical juggernaut that delivers beauty and power.

13 of 13 thought this review was well written

The HAARP Machine is a piece of machinery shrouded in mystery, its actual purpose debated amongst those who suspect a more sinister motive behind the powers that created it. The HAARP Machine is also a band, who just like the machinery they based their name off of, is shrouded in mystery. Their debut album Disclosure is a juggernaut of melody, technicality, beautiful vocal harmonies and vitriol filled screams. 'Disclosure' has been a year in the making, with several member changes along the way it seemed perhaps this album would never see the light of day. However with a new vocalist they have managed to create something truly worthy of the wait.

Unlike most technical Death metal, The HAARP Machine doesn't assault our senses with relentless intricate riffing, complicated tremolos with rhythmic patterning, off-the-wall time signatures and galloping solos that seem to be endless. Instead they offer technicality that is accessible yet still commendable, it’s simply digestible and because of that it’s enjoyable. Along with the technicality comes a dose of melody, that sits in the middle, sometimes pushing forward; it isn’t the forefront of the music, it’s the support. With this melody, the HAARP Machine create a whirlwind of sound that never seems to become stagnant or bloated, it helps carry the songs and varies up the structuring. The guitar work is something to be admired; it’s cleverly composed but not obnoxious. Furthermore, the HAARP Machine adds another flavour to the already successful mixture: Middle-Eastern sound-scapes which add to the atmosphere and provide some truly outstanding moments. Yet, this isn’t anything new, the sole guitarist (Abdullah Al Mu'min) borrows from the staples of those who have come before him. Somehow, he just manages to disguise the fact with his ability to play elegantly and write beautifully.

However, what truly makes Disclosure special are the vocals. The new vocalist, Michael Semesky has some serious vocal talent, from dream-like crooning that could warm even the blackest of hearts, to screams/growls that are of the caliber one would expect from a band such as this. The vocals allow the music to breath, creating periods of calm; allowing the listener to sit back and take in the sheer blitz of musicality. Vocally, Semesky’s abilities range from soothing high octaves that at times sound similar to Brandon Bolmer (formerly of Chiodos) to a more powerful yet typical singing voice that you’d perhaps come across in a progressive band. Talking of progressive, Semesky’s vocal moments create some prog-like breaks; dreamy sections in the music where everything is gently intertwining, eventually building to a bombastic crescendo. Although the vocals are not for everyone, some may find the cleanly sung passages irritating, perhaps too melodic at points or slightly abrasive to listen to.

Last but not least is the drums, the drumming on this album is what you’d expect from an album of this genre; blast beats, generally rapid drumming, crazy fills and some tight cymbal work. The drums sit in the back of the mix, they feel restricted due to the other instruments taking centre stage; whether it is due to the guitar or the few piano interjections. Moreover, the bass is generally inaudible. It rears it's head here and there but seems lost within the music. Disclosure’s production is very clear and crisp but it can sound a bit much at times, there is a lot going on throughout the eight songs and it can be a bit overwhelming.

The HAARP Machine has managed to create a debut album that surpasses many others due to the ability to write clear, concise songs with interesting takes on the standard tech-death formula without making it convoluted. The album is also short but sweet, there is no filler; it is thirty-three minutes of fun. To conclude, The HAARP Machine have created a force to be reckoned with, I was apprehensive about the vocals and that perhaps it would be your standard tech-death merry-go-round yet 'Disclosure' sounds fresh due to its composition albeit similar to its peers in roots. 'Disclosure' is by no means ground-breaking, but it accepts that from the word ‘go’ and manages to deliver, firing on all cylinders.

Pros-
- Excellent Musicianship
- Vocals are great
- Interesting takes on song structure
- Great overall sound.
- A fun listen, a lot of replay value
Cons-
- Sometimes the mix is just too much.
- Drums and Bass get lost in the mix more often than not.
- Lyrics can be slightly off-putting due to subject matter (world conspiracies etc)



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user ratings (164)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DropdeadWHA
October 16th 2012



569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Originally had this at a 4 but I increased the rating for obvious reasons.

[EDIT]: No idea what is up with the track-listing.

Durrzo
October 16th 2012



1077 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Good review but I just couldn't get into the album.

DropdeadWHA
October 16th 2012



569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I can understand that. It's not for everyone & thanks!

TheMoreira
October 16th 2012



6890 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Great review, have a pos.

It would be awesome if you added a recommended tracks section, but thats just me. Pos nonetheless mate, im excited to hear this.

Digging: Vinterbris - Solace

DropdeadWHA
October 16th 2012



569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cheers. Hopefully you'll dig it. Tbh, I'd recommend all the tracks, they all offer something but if we're being picky: Esoteric Agenda, Lower the Populace, Pleiadian Keys, Disclosure, The Escapist Notion and Machine Over.

TheMoreira
October 16th 2012



6890 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Damn yeah, its clear this is some seriously good stuff. Pleiadian Keys is awesome, if all the others you mentioned are just as good this must be otherworldly.

SmokingTheClouds
October 16th 2012



639 Comments


Haven't listened to this yet, but I've been waiting for some time. Will deff check out. Great review btw. Pos'd.

DropdeadWHA
October 16th 2012



569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cheers and yeah, it was worth the wait. If you're fan of this sorta' stuff you'll enjoy it.

DropdeadWHA
October 16th 2012



569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That is the beauty of opinions haha. It isn't for everyone. I just dig it a lot.

Evreaia
October 16th 2012



3953 Comments


This is typical sumerian garbage actually, technical, hints of djent, and boring beyond words.

those who heard After The Burial, Veil Of Maya or Born of Osiris know exactly what to expect with this album.

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

DropdeadWHA
October 16th 2012



569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Like I said, I understand why you dislike it. Not saying you're wrong to either. A lot of people will enjoy this and a lot of people won't, just the way it goes.

Evreaia
October 16th 2012



3953 Comments


One thing though, why recommend this too Enslaved or especially Ana Kefr? They have absolutely nothing in common (not even the same genre).

DropdeadWHA
October 16th 2012



569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I disagree with Ana Kefr, they have aspects in common. Good point about Enslaved though, although I was thinking along the lines of proggy-ish moments/the usage of clean vocals. Not necessarily genre. Will change it though.

Evreaia
October 16th 2012



3953 Comments


Ana Kefr is Progressive (black) metal. From song writing aspect they share almost no similarities to anything sumerian related.

(sorry b ut I'm kinda picky about Ana Kefr, especially when compared to stuff like this).

DropdeadWHA
October 16th 2012



569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

When I recommend a band, I don't just limit to the same genre. With Ana Kefr, I'm thinking more vocally, again the progressive elements. They are different, no denying it. But I feel if a listener enjoyed this they may find certain aspects of 'insert band' enjoyable. No problem, it was just in my head at the time.

KILL
October 16th 2012



70586 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

gota check

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Evreaia
October 16th 2012



3953 Comments


great review though, I just totally disagree with the score.

I usually recommend similar artists, in case the reader likes what he hears so he can easily ind more of it (like born of Osiris you mentioned, this band is pretty much identical)

DropdeadWHA
October 16th 2012



569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cheers. Yeah, I know what you mean, will take that more into consideration next time haha.

NonApplicable
October 16th 2012



1927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Can you elaborate more on the production? Sounds like this isn't very well mixed =(

Digging: Monuments - The Amanuensis

sspedding
October 16th 2012



4751 Comments


I will probably like this.



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