Many will attest to the fact that Metalcore has become a jaded genre, bogged down by the courtesy scream/sing vocals, the stereotypical chugging breakdowns and of course, an all too predictable song structure. But even the most suffocated of genres are allowed a breath of fresh air, and in the case of Metalcore, that air is no doubt the German Metalcore band, Machinemade God. Branching out from their 2006 debut The Infinity Complex
, the band's sophmore effort Masked
isn't exactly ground breaking, but shows potential and promise that has long since been lost within the stagnating genre.
Taking their cue from early 90's Melodic Death Metal, Machinemade God play a fierce brand of Metalcore, that is both beautifully melodic, yet crushingly heavy. Guitarists Marc Niedersberg and Sky Hoff are obviously well versed in a plethora of different heavy genres, with their playing ranging from Melodic Death Metal, Bay Area Thrash and the Classic Metal stylings of yore. Songs like opening number Forgiven
displays the axe slinging duo playing heavy groove riffs, that are undeniably catchy, while other tracks like Voices
and For Those Who Care
going for more of a Thrash-like in your face approach. Its quite obvious that the two are quite adept when it comes to soloing, pulling lightning fast shred runs almost out thin air on several occasions. They even get to show a little bit of their softer side on instrumental track And Even Though Your Gone
which features light, melodic, clean guitar passages. Drummer Sven Kalinowski, does a solid job throughout the album, with his foot pedal work perfectly syncing with the rhythms of the guitar lines, no matter what the pace. He also is very skilled when its to instantly switching tempo's especially on Endlessy
where the he goes from slow, driving beats to fast , almost Death Metal- like insanity.
Vocally, the album does feature a scream/sing style, but in a far more interesting matter. Instead of using clean vocals in every song, ruining their potential for diversity, the band uses them sparingly, in songs like Melancholy
which seems to just increase their overall ability to be catchy. Lead singer (screamer) Flow Velten's voice is as raspy as they get, and much rawer than you would find in the common Metalcore. He puts so much emotion into his delivery that it seems like he could blow out his voice at any given moment. Also, he makes good use of utilizing the occasional death grunt, with the timing of use often increasing the enjoyability of the song. The clean singer, Sky Hoff, doesn't have the best singing voice, but he manages to always keep it within a comfortable range, never overextending its reach. Although the band does not contain a keyboard player, synths are found providing some great atmosphere in a few of the songs like it does in Forgiven
As previously stated, Masked
isn't ground breaking, or really innovative in anyway, but the sheer quality of their play on Metalcore ranks up with the best. Many would be turned off even just by the "Metalcore" and probably refuse this a fair listen, but it's this reviewers promise that if you take the risk of giving this a listen, there is no way in hell you'll be disappointed.