Release DetailsLABEL Code666
RELEASED ON 2/2/2007
Thee Maldoror Kollective
Pilot (Man with the Meat Machine)
posted on 2/2007 By:
Thee Maldoror Kollective seemingly embrace the satirical phrases that class clowns often scrawl into a friend’s yearbook: “Always change. Never stay the same.” The black metal has been long gone – only a few vestiges remain – and the industrial/noise elements that helmed A Clockwork Highway have made room in the cockpit for an Estradasphere-like companion, though the two rarely intermingle. So Pilot (Man with the Meat Machine) is very different from its predecessors, which, if you’re acquainted with Thee Maldoror Kollective in the least, should not come as a surprise.
Much of Pilot is striking simply because the ostensible influences are quite varied, making the smooth saxophone-led “Exile” a song that will catch most off guard until the darker, instrumental portion begins at 4:55. Utilizing soundclips and blending styles akin to Estradasphere, “Microphones & Flies” has a jazzy feel and may loosely remind some of fellow Italians Ephel Duath. That is, until the electronics take over at 15 after 4 and lend much-needed drive to what first comes across as a directionless tune. The beginning of “Zombie Children” is perfectly suited for inclusion in a Tarantino film, but jettisons the vibe by including bizarre, indecipherable vocals during certain points. Eventually “Zombie Children” gets even weirder when it transitions into “Stand by Me” with soundclips. Others, such as “Welcome to the Golden Dove Society,” “The Night Mr. Clenchman Died,” “Pilot 1,” and “Pilot 2” erase all sense of expectation and predictability as we’re treated to yet more genre-mixing, cinematic moments. “Pilot 3,” however, ushers in the revenge of the synth, and the lead-out “A Gasoline Hero” is more closely related to pre-Pilot material than anything else on the record.
My initial reaction to P (MwtMM) was one of bafflement – how could TMK change this much when prior efforts completely neglected to hint that a shift like this was going to take place? It’s not so perplexing, though, when viewing their discography as a whole, and/or the band’s propensity for change. Like many albums that call Code666 their label, Pilot is both unusual and gratifying. Nevertheless, I envision this being merely a passing curiosity for the average metalhead while others who enjoy quirkiness a la – once again – Estradasphere should definitely give this a shot. It’s just unfortunate that the replay value isn’t as high as the cast of Half Baked is right now.
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