Mechina
The Assembly of Tyrants


4.5
superb

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (65 Reviews)
January 12th, 2013 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A unique metal masterpiece

If you haven’t heard of the Chicago-based industrial band Mechina, honestly I can’t blame you. They’ve been under the radar for the better part of seven years. Their first release The Assembly of Tyrants was released in 2005 and, to put it simply, it was unique. Not only unique for the metal community but also unique in the music community in general, which is likely why Mechina don’t get the praise they deserve. They’re not your typical metal band writing catchy, heavy-for-the-sake-of-being-heavy songs for the masses – they strived for something more. A metal band with actual depth and knew how to use atmosphere to their advantage without sacrificing their sound. A metal band that actually knew how to contrast harsh and clean vocals to compliment each other without ever sounding forced. Mechina were a forced to be reckoned with, and on The Assembly of Tyrants they proved exactly that.

Opener ‘Shattered Cry’ pulls no punches. It’s the most abrasive and straightforward metal song on the record and shows off their brand of industrial metal quite well. Mechanical riffs akin to Strapping Young Lad are prevalent, along with double bass drumming galore topped with punctual death metal growls. The qualities that separate Mechina from typical metal bands don’t shine through until the third track ‘Clash of Cultures.’ As much as I hate throwing around the word, this song is epic. There’s no other way to put it; especially for a song that’s barely over 5 minutes. The atmosphere is simultaneously dark yet uplifting – right from the ominous keyboard motif that leads the song up to the well-done clean vocals near the end of the track. Another more ethereal version of this song is used to close the album. Usually I’m not a big fan of “remix” songs, but this one is very well executed and closes the album brilliantly.

The band members themselves have talent, there’s no doubt about it. Vocalist Dave Holch can definitely hold his own against fellow growlers and his clean vocals aren’t half bad either. Could be better, but they’re used sparingly enough to remain enjoyable when they are used. Riff wise, Joe Tiberi isn’t the most talented in the genre but he layers riffs on top of each other to create thickness instead of relying solely on technical finesse to get by like many technical metal bands do. The drums are indeed a standout on this record though. Especially the insanely fast double bass work on ‘Shattered Cry’ and ‘Afterimage’ or the straight up blistering blast beats on ‘Machine God’ and ‘Skin Deep.’ While the band are certainly capable of playing incredibly fast as they prove multiple times on the record, they focus a lot more on the actual songwriting. The songs on here never feel like they’re just treading along idea after idea without any direction. No, every song on The Assembly of Tyrants is completely focused and vital to the flow of the album. Even the interlude tracks feel like actual interludes instead of passable filler. ‘Warfog’ in particular provides a beautiful symphonic intro to the jaw dropping title track, possibly the best song on the album, being a perfect combination of Mechina’s robotic riffing and dynamic atmosphere ideally utilized in just under 8 minutes – it’s phenomenal.

The great thing about The Assembly of Tyrants is that not one track is inferior to the rest. I suppose the shorter tracks do pale in comparison to the longer ones just because the longer ones have more time to entrance you, but I can’t imagine the album flowing as well as it does without each one. Unfortunately, the vocals are probably the main thing keeping this from being a perfect record. Dave is great at what he does, but he doesn’t bring anything new to the table both screaming and singing wise. He sounds like a standard death metal vocalist with the occasional mediocre clean singing getting him through the more melodic sections. It just gets monotonous to listen to after a while. However ignoring the very minor flaws, The Assembly of Tyrants is a truly impressive album through and through. On this album, Mechina became the dynamic metal band they strived to be. They sacrificed a potentially bigger fanbase for musical depth. They didn’t want to write catchy, heavy-for-the-sake-of-being-heavy songs for the masses – they only wrote for themselves, and it's this attitude and originality on their part that makes The Assembly of Tyrants a near flawless masterpiece.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
January 12th 2013


21101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you haven't heard this, you should change that. Like now.

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2013


31173 Comments


Their first release The Assembly of Tyrants was released in 2005 and, to put it bluntly, it was unique.


That's not really putting it bluntly, and that might not be the best way to describe something positively. "and to be honest, it was incredibly unique" or something similar would make more sense

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

FrozenVain
January 12th 2013


2432 Comments


This looks cool. I will definitely check it out, pos'd.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
January 12th 2013


21101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers man, it really is fantastic.

foxxxythnksustnk
January 12th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

when did this get posted fuk yes mechina love been listening since 05 m/

AdolfChrist
January 15th 2013


1763 Comments


i want to give this a listen but some sites say Skin Deep is 6 and Afterimage is 7, and others switch it around. cant fucking listen until i know the correct order. anybody have a physical copy of the album?

foxxxythnksustnk
January 15th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i got the d/l directly from the band and the tracklist is identical to the one we have here except they tagged track ten broken spear mix instead of speaker true story

AdolfChrist
January 15th 2013


1763 Comments


the fuck, wonder if they did that on purpose

foxxxythnksustnk
January 15th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nah it was a typo but i like it better that way

AdolfChrist
January 15th 2013


1763 Comments


idk how you could fuck up two words like that in one title, but...mustve been a typo because everywhere else it says blown speaker, or "Clash YSAF mix". and because i have OCD when it comes to this, i have to know, are After Image and War Fog one word?

foxxxythnksustnk
January 15th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea afterimage and warfog on mine

demigod!
January 15th 2013


44451 Comments


sweet, gonna check this tomorrow.

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

foxxxythnksustnk
January 15th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

get the new 1

AdolfChrist
January 15th 2013


1763 Comments


ive listened to a few tracks from each album and they definitely seem to be getting better and better. this album seems ok. gonna have to listen tomorrow.

AdolfChrist
January 15th 2013


1763 Comments


just got done with this album...not impressed at all. id give it a 2 or a 2.5. riffs are boring, harsh vocals are meh, singing is bad. the drums and the keys are the only things that i liked. Conqueror and Empyrean sounded much better though, gonna listen to those now.

foxxxythnksustnk
January 16th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ok

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2013


21101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Took multiple listens for this to click with me, I wouldn't give up on it just yet. I still need to check out their other albums

AdolfChrist
January 16th 2013


1763 Comments


Conqueror and Empyrean are fucking phenomenal, go listen.

foxxxythnksustnk
January 16th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

right on

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2013


19757 Comments


Ah this is more like it sounds cool pos'd

Digging: Spectral Lore - III



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