Yes, yet another metalcore album for Kenny to review, but The Infinity Complex is actually really good. “But Kenny, there are a ton of really shitty bands playing this style out there,” questions frustrated whiny metalhead. I agree, but there are also a lot of exceptions to the Suck Rule. Trust me when I tell you that, once you hear this new album, you will see that Machinemade God are an exception.
I really think there’s a new trend happening in metal/hardcore these days: new European bands trying to sound and look like some of their American counterparts. A lot of the new heavy bands coming out of Europe who are really pushing in the hardcore / metalcore direction are also sporting a ton more of the bullshit scenester / trendy garbage hairstyles, makeup, piercings, and tattoos (especially the XXX ones, which are always a big hit with the kids). Not too long ago, there were a ton of American hardcore/punk kids who loved metal and formed bands influenced by the Euro/Swedish style in the vein of At The Gates / Arch Enemy. Now there are band like Machinemade God that are trying to sound like American metalcore bands such as Killswitch Engage / Unearth. Ironic? As we all know, changes in music always come full circle, so chalk this one up as another case.
With that off my hairy chest, let me tell ya about this band and their new album. Machinemade God are semi new and out of Rhein-Ruhr, Germany, having formed in 2003 and came out with a self-produced demo in 2004. Being one the better heavy bands out of Germany, they got to play a ton of good shows and festivals, sharing the stage with such big acts as God Forbid, As I Lay Dying, and fellow krauts Caliban and Heaven Shall Burn. They went to Denmark last April/May to record this highly anticipated new full length with producer Jakob Bredahl of Hatesphere fame. Jakob also helped out with some guest vocals on “Your Own Fault,” which also features an appearance from Laurits Medom of As We Fight.
As for the music, it’s nothing that great or different from most metalcore… but still pretty good. It is definitely that new style of catchy metalcore shit, but without a lot of the singing (thank god). However, there are times when the singer talks all emotionally right before a breakdown, which is sorta lame. They have also mastered that “fast thrash beginning riff into slower heavier chugga riff, then back to fast riff and finally slowing the fast riff down a bit and adding some harmonics” formula. While you’re at it, why not throw in a ton of pitch harmonics that all the kids are copying from Zakk Wylde. I do like that shit, though! Actually, both guitarists Holger Kiparski and Sky Hoff (love them German names!) are tight as hell and can give you hooks that your younger 12 year-old sister will love, as well as crazy fast riffs and slow breakdowns that will have you and your 16 year-old friends moshing in the living room. I do have appreciation for this balance and know that it’s tough to be able to do them both well, so kudos to the band. Vocalist Flo Velten mostly has a repetitive scream that is low-but-not-too-low (so you can still make out a lot of what he’s screaming), with lyrics that mainly deal with relationships/love. Yeah, it must have been a bad breakup for him to scream out in pain: “Your veins carry cyanide while my veins carry rust / your heart bleeds black while mine pumps dust” (“Teeth vs. Curb”). Other examples are all over the album: “Losses to Lessons,” “Bleeding From Within,” and my fav “Kiss Me Now Kill Me Later.” Oh, and don’t forget about the instrumental “Butterfly Coma,” which is actually really great and packed with a fuckload of solos. They must love butterflies or some shit, cuz there are cocoons, caterpillars, and butterfly artwork on the cover and the inside booklet. There are also some songs about death and “the struggle we all face with losing people we love,” noted in songs such as “Forever Gone,” “Angel Wings,” and the closer instrumental “Snow White” (dedicated to one of their grandmas). But the standout must go to “Friendster is Sooo Two Months Ago,” in which the rhythm section of drummer Max Kotzmann and bassist Sven (there’s always a Sven, eh?) Luppus will have you bobbing your head to in no time.
So go and get The Infinity Complex if you like “new metal” bands such as As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, Trivium etc. Machinemade God will definitely be on tour this summer, but as of now I have only seen dates over in Europe… sux for us Americans.