Release DetailsLABEL Century Media
RELEASED ON 8/22/2005
posted on 8/2005 By:
The almighty Iron Maiden are the monolith of metal that has single-handedly eclipsed virtually every band that has ever fruitlessly endeavored to stroll into their light by employing the infallible musical formula that they plotted over two decades ago. While acts like Iced Earth and In Flames were each successful in decoding large portions of the blueprint, their renderings also embraced other influences and applied some ideas of their own, abandoning most of the original template in the natural process known as evolution.
I, like many, hold Iron Maiden in highest regards above all others, so when an up and coming band bursts onto the scene and starts to generate comparisons to them, I usually figure these claims to be quite farfetched at best. Let's be honest here; when anyone is pitted against Iron Maiden, EVERYONE is out of their league. Filling the legendary shoes of such a renowned and influential talent is a feat that is generally out of reach for mortal men. Fortunately for me, I gave Finland’s Machine Men the time of day, because all the preconceived notions that I had initially drawn were flattened only seconds into their sophomore full-length Elegies.
Musically spanning some of the most memorable moments from across their entire discography, Machine Men are the epitome of prime Iron Maiden reincarnate complimented by an abundance of modern day solo Bruce Dickinson autonomy. The guitar duo of Jani Noronen and J-V Hintikka are clearly longtime subscribers to the Dave Murray and Adrian Smith encyclopedia of godly melody as well as Roy-Z’s guide to bottom-heavy riff chunk, as heard throughout the bulk of the ten tracks on Elegies, while drummer Jarno Parantainen rarely shies away from the skin style of Nicko McBrain. The most astounding characteristic of Machine Men, however, is singer Antony Parviainen’s uncanny resemblance to vocal icon Bruce Dickinson. What’s even more surprising is the fact that Parviainen has only been singing since 1998. If he has achieved so much in so little time, it’s frightening to imagine where his abilities will peak in five or ten years from now.
Where Iron Maiden have always been about power and delivery in their chorus sections that often times become a bit too repetitive, Elegies offers focused and amazingly catchy choruses that are more along the lines of Bruce Dickinson’s Accident Of Birth and Chemical Wedding albums. Elegies is on par with nearly anything Iron Maiden have ever recorded and blows much of their latter-day material out of the water even as it captures the finest parts of Brave New World and Dance Of Death. Highlights include my favorite track “Back From The Days” (MP3), which reminds me of a beefed up version of "Rainmaker", the chart climbing lead-off single “Falling”, and the Bruce Dickinson cover “Freak”, just to name a few.
With all their recent slip ups, it’s nice to see that Century Media are once again signing acts that deserve the spotlight. Machine Men are a promising young band that is the past, present, and future of traditional heavy metal as we know it. When the sad day finally comes that Iron Maiden shelves their wrist bands for good, I only hope that Machine Men are still around to claim the throne and fill the void.
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