Mechina
Conqueror


3.5
great

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (58 Reviews)
May 12th, 2013 | 9 replies | 1,235 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mechina play it safe.

I have a bit of bias towards Mechina, admittedly. The Asembly of Tyrants rests comfortably as my favorite industrial metal album ever alongside SYL’s City, and of all the modern metal bands debuting in the 00’s I expected the greatest things from Mechina. It’s unfair to Conqueror, because any album following such a superb debut is set up for criticisms and claims of succumbing the classic “sophomore slump” syndrome, but Mechina certainly don’t. They don’t exactly reinvent the genre either; it’s just a safe album. Good ideas and execution, but no boundaries are being pushed. It’s easy to say without bias that Mechina didn’t exactly try to top The Assembly of Tyrants, rather avoid all experimental tendencies and release an album wholly inside their comfort zone with mildly successful results.

On one hand, they managed to avoid the sophomore slump, which is already a huge leg up. The songwriting is in a similar vein as its predecessor – mechanical riffs, dramatic synth-driven choruses, questionable interludes (although on Assembly the interludes were actually good; here they sound like they belong in a Halo soundtrack), and an overall spacey atmosphere further instilled by the song titles and album art. Its production is cleaner, the band in general is tighter, and the riffs are crunchier and pack more of an aural punch than they did on Assembly. The vocals are the most improved, though, as Dave’s clean singing no longer sounds strained, rather soothing and complementing to the songs they’re in. However the musicianship isn’t the problem here.

The problem is that not much about Conqueror is noteworthy outside the fact that it’s Mechina’s second album. It does nothing new for industrial metal; even for Mechina’s signature death-industrial-synth sound it just comes across flat most of the time due to the outstanding lack of diversity, and the songs themselves aren’t terribly exciting either. ‘Internecion’ is the sole blast-beater and probably the most tepid of them all, and the rest rely on mechanical groove metal riffs to drive the songs contrary to Assembly's wide variety of styles. The vocals are well done but boring as everything becomes so predictable after the first few songs. Heavy verse, clean sung chorus, keyboard break, heavy verse, clean chorus, rinse and repeat for six tracks, then add a pointless interlude in the middle and open/close the album with Halo sound effects building aimlessly for three minutes each; that’s the structure of Conqueror in a nutshell.

In Mechina’s case however, formulaic and predictable doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Album highlight ‘Pray to the Winds’ strives on its melodic progression juxtaposed between cold chugging with each phrase seguing perfectly into the next, and ‘The Iron Law’ holds together the second half with a ball-busting chorus and some of the best riffs on the album. Again it’s hard to blame Conqueror for its faults, because it feels like no mater how good it could’ve been, its reception was doomed from the start by following such an excellent debut. However the highlights and overall consistency in quality is enough to deem Conqueror a great, albeit underwhelming, sophomore release.



Recent reviews by this author
Lacuna Coil Broken Crown HaloNeuraxis Imagery
Ringworm Hammer of the WitchCreepoid Creepoid
Mudvayne Lost and FoundJay-Z Magna Carta... Holy Grail
user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 11th 2013



19497 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really wanted to like this more

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing for Us Here

SubtleBody
May 12th 2013



519 Comments


It's no Godflesh, that's for sure.

SubtleBody
May 12th 2013



519 Comments


Also, pretty decent review, but at one point you say the vocals are soothing and complement the music, then another time you say the vocals are mundane. Which one is it?

Also, "rather soothing and complimenting to the songs they’re in." should be 'complement', not 'compliment'.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 12th 2013



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

This is the problem I have with this review: you start the review by saying that Assembly of Tyrants is tied for your all time favorite industrial metal album, then you go on to say that on Conqueror everything's been kicked up a notch, yet you start criticizing the album already in the next paragraph about it being "flat".

Idk, it kinda reads like you were deliberately looking for faults in this to criticize for reasons unknown (in the introductory paragraph, first you say that the album is safe, then you proclaim that there are great ideas and execution to be found here - two sides that contradict each other). Call me crazy, but I can't bring myself to call ideas that are great "safe", even if they are reminiscent of the debut.

EDIT: oh and I didn't neg, but this is definitely not your best review.

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

SubtleBody
May 12th 2013



519 Comments


What Metalstyles said. You really contradict yourself a lot here. It's well written, but your points here are all over the place.

Vakarian12
May 12th 2013



3575 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

heard this last night along with Empyrean, great band

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 12th 2013



19497 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also, pretty decent review, but at one point you say the vocals are soothing and complement the music, then another time you say the vocals are mundane. Which one is it?

Also, "rather soothing and complimenting to the songs they’re in." should be 'complement', not 'compliment'.


fixed. i meant more the tone of his voice improved more than anything. his melodies are still very mundane and predictable, but i just took out mundane all together. cheers

This is the problem I have with this review: you start the review by saying that Assembly of Tyrants is tied for your all time favorite industrial metal album, then you go on to say that on Conqueror everything's been kicked up a notch, yet you start criticizing the album already in the next paragraph about it being "flat".


i never said everything on conqueror is kicked up a notch. yeah they sound better as a band because probably by this time they found their band chemistry or whatever but that doesnt affect the music. same with the better production/crunchy riffs (im assuming those points are what youre referring to)

Idk, it kinda reads like you were deliberately looking for faults in this to criticize for reasons unknown (in the introductory paragraph, first you say that the album is safe, then you proclaim that there are great ideas and execution to be found here - two sides that contradict each other). Call me crazy, but I can't bring myself to call ideas that are great "safe", even if they are reminiscent of the debut.


i was using safe as a very broad term for the fact that they were staying in their comfort zone here. theres still good material on here but again, compared to TAOT it feels... safe. i do agree that it sounds a bit off putting those sentences back to back, ill try rewording it later. perhaps my third paragraph was a bit too harsh because those points make it sound a lot worse than it is.

anyway the feedback is much appreciated. reworded a few things, hope it looks better now

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 12th 2013



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

yeah they sound better as a band because probably by this time they found their band chemistry or whatever but that doesnt affect the music. same with the better production/crunchy riffs (im assuming those points are what youre referring to)
How does that not affect the music (genuine interest on my part)? If the band had better chemistry, the riffs are crunchier and the production is better (at least that's the impression I got from your review), then how can it be a worse release than the one that came before it?

I think that's the part that you should really bring out in this review, because as it stands, you highlight the debut's greatness, but at the same time, you say that some elements are improved upon with this release, yet the album as a whole is more boring. You don't convey why it is more boring than the debut also (you do bring out the faults of this record, but after reading this review, I wouldn't have any idea as to why I should pick up the debut instead of this) because you say it is more or less a carbon copy of it with some improvements on the production side..

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 12th 2013



19497 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

How does that not affect the music (genuine interest on my part)? If the band had better chemistry, the riffs are crunchier and the production is better (at least that's the impression I got from your review), then how can it be a worse release than the one that came before it?


just because they sound comfortable playing what theyre playing doesnt mean its necessarily good. on Assembly there were a few awkward transitions, here there are none, but the riffs on Assembly were far better and made up for it. this is my opinion of course, but i found assembly at lot more diverse than this one

and as for your second concern, i added this:

the rest rely on mechanical groove metal riffs to drive the songs contrary to Assembly's wide variety of styles


which is the main reason why i prefer assmebly to this album.




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