Mechina
Venator


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dewinged STAFF
January 7th, 2022 | 21 replies


Release Date: 01/01/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Of deja-vus, groundhog years, and why we don't fix what is not broken. Happy New Mechina.

Like clockwork. On January 1st this year, Joe Tiberi and co. uploaded their tenth full length to their Bandcamp page as it has been tradition for the last ten years (with a couple of exceptions). Venator does not change the formula but builds instead on the new direction marked by 2021's Siege. There are a few improvements though: Mel Rose's vocals now share the spotlight with David Holch's achieving a better balance, blending together as if they were one single voice at times and harmonizing like they were dancing together in other parts. The effect when they sing the same melody line is interesting, being very even in the mix and giving it the texture of some sort of genderless hybrid android, while coming back to their own character when they play around different notes. The orchestration seems to have been pushed to the background too, especially during the heavier parts, and Tiberi seem to have managed to create different levels of intensity throughout the album, instead of a massive seamless homogeneous stream of seven-minute tracks, which was one of the issues that affected Siege. Here tracks are slightly shorter, except for the first two, which round up nine minutes each. All in all, most of the songs have better vocal hooks and riffs that feel more effective. "Praise Hydrus", despite being an eight-minute track feels shorter than most of the material in Mechina's last two albums. "Aphelion" has a great introductory riff and "Totemic" dares to strip off guitars to create a sort of spacey synth ballad where the vocals of Rose and guest vocalist Necole Wright are the main focus, leaving Tiberi to design an empyrean atmosphere around them.

Fans of Dave Holch! Don't fret though: your time has come. The last two tracks, and especially "The Embers of Old Earth" bring back Holch's growls in a clear callback to their earlier releases. Even the closer, "When Virtue Meets Steel", throws some savage blast beats at you before the album's grand finale, which signify that Mechina is not entirely committed to the more melodic approach of their last recordings, as they try to preserve these more aggressive sections which I personally think is the correct approach.

Regarding Mechina lore, (I know you love that stuff) no one has any idea where Venator fits in the time line anymore. Some assumptions point out to a story post Xenon but no solid theory has been confirmed yet. Obviously, the respective singers reprise their roles as Enyo (Mel) and I guess Amyntas (Dave) who along with Alithea (Necole?) seems to be in cryo. The year seems to be 2632, which would be present day in the story, but only Tiberi knows this, that, and what the hell is going on in the Mechuniverse.

Venator doesn't mark a giant step for Mechina, not that they needed it anyway, but instead continues the tale doing what they know they do best, stuffing Fear Factory with Pendulum in a thrilling symphonic intergalactic djent blaze that will be most welcomed by fans of the project, and who knows, maybe it turns some heads in their direction too. If it doesn’t, do not worry, we’ll meet again for season 11 on January 1st of 2023!




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user ratings (25)
3.1
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2022


26776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm always happy to start the year reviewing this band. Pardon my clunkiness tho, I'm a bit rusty after the holidays.



Bandcamp: https://mechinamusic.bandcamp.com/album/venator



Now yes, happy new year!

Digging: Anna von Hausswolff - Live at Montreux Jazz Festival

MeatWolf
January 7th 2022


238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was kind of shock(doctrin)ed when Siege arrived, it was difficult to wrap your head around the new style. But I did eventually and Venator improves it on most points, as mentioned in the review. I also noticed what you point out about vocals, previously heard stuff like this in Amaranthe duet vocals when it sounds like some cyber entity.



As expected, praise is mostly addressed to The Embers of Old Earth while it actually should be to Hydrus. This techo electro dance Mechina works great (in the last track as well). And Aphelion should have been at least twice as long.



All in all, thanks to Joe and co, another $30+ spent with no regrets.



And to anyone who wants more stuff like this, keep an eye on the upcoming 4-piece Symphonies II from Neurotech, two of which are already out.

DDDeftoneDDD
January 7th 2022


19607 Comments


lol

Digging: Dope Lemon - Rose Pink Cadillac

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2022


17329 Comments


Oh shit, haven’t heard these guys since empyrean. Will cheque

garas
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2022


6911 Comments


That new Destiny 2 poster looks lit.

Tundra
January 7th 2022


6821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I want to like this more than I am but I just can't bring myself to do it.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2022


16137 Comments


The year doesn’t start unless Dewi has his annual Mechina review posted. 2022 come have at it.

Purpl3Spartan
January 8th 2022


2232 Comments


Could tell this was prog in some form without even reading anything

Digging: Geese - Projector

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2022


26776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's actually folk with mathcore sections.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2022


16137 Comments


Djenty black metal agreed.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2022


26776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Drum & Djent

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2022


16137 Comments


Trumpet Destruction. Bass guitar only.

Tundra
January 8th 2022


6821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Symphonic electronic djent

Purpl3Spartan
January 8th 2022


2232 Comments


xylophone djent

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2022


26776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You all know mine was the best, right?

kzy
January 8th 2022


92 Comments


Is it just me or Mechina are getting less with Harsh & growl vocals?
I listen this album, there are no blast beats & growl (except the last track).
I'm not sure this can be tied with Siege as the best album Post-Progenitor.

ChrimzonCanine
January 8th 2022


1269 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album cover is giving me major Aquaman movie vibes

Digging: Saga (CAN) - Worlds Apart

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2022


26776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@kzy it's not you, they've been following this path for a while now, more emphasis on melodic vocals, less growls. Post Progrenitor I'd say my favorite would be Embers.

Willie
Moderator
January 11th 2022


19034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

I swear I've heard this album before... it had a different name, but I've heard it.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 13th 2022


26776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You did, Willie, last year, and the year before, and the one before that...



And you will next year, around this time.



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