posted on 3/2008 By:
According to the soft-spoken word on the street, Machinae Supremacy were/are a melodeath-styled outfit with a serious SidStation fetish. Those without extensive knowledge of computer history or Timbaland's exploits in noisemaking probably don't know (or care) what the hell a SidStation is, so I'll tell you. The device is built around the SID Chip, which produced the sound for the Commodore 64. So, combine this thing with big guitars and booming drums, set to "frappe," and voi-frickin'-la, you've got a steaming carafe of Video Game Metal. Tantalizing.
Actually, Machinae Supremacy trumpets their style as "SID Metal," in a ridiculous effort to place themselves at the forefront of a manufactured genre. To be fair, this is a much cooler tag than the "bleath metal" that A Gruesome Find have laughably attempted to spearhead, but I can't help but think of Sudden Infant Death syndrome when reading it, and that isn't necessarily a market that needs to be cornered. Regardless, the band's sound leans more towards power metal than Gothenburg, and the bleeps and whirs of the SID Chip are more Sonic the Hedgehog than Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. Machinae Supremacy, essentially, resemble a ultra-poppy, sickeningly saccharine version of Mercenary -- if they had made a career out of covering Finch and Good Charlotte songs. Super-thick line between 'love' and 'fucking loathe'? Consider it drawn.
Vocalist "GAZ" is the main artist of divisiveness; his consistently clean vocal delivery is perpelexing. It is simultaneously powerful and whiny, which, oddly enough, suits the music quite well...but that doesn't make it good. Overworld is one of the strangest mashups of over-produced metallic profiling and futuristic pop/rock ever spawned, and will likely find a very (very) niche audience. Ever had a wet dream about speeding through Tokyo at midnight with a pair of bug-eyed sunglasses perched upon your dome, while a moderately attractive, blue-haired anime vixen sits shotgun, cooing at you in Japanese while clutching a pink teddy bear? Machinae Supremacy is the band blasting through your speakers in that fantasy. Oh, you've never had that fantasy? Really? Then move along, because the bounce-around electronics and free-wheeling guitar solos found herein are tailor made for those who wouldn't recognize a 400-ton wheel of cheese if it was lodged in their urethra. On the flipside, people that think Scar Symmetry is only one step removed from Journey on the cornball scale should drive as far away from this album as possible.
Stylistic ergregousness aside, many of the songs on this album would be flat-out awful even without the gimmickry. The opening title track is syrupy and overwrought, "Conveyor" combines their pseudo-anthemic posturing with Reroute to Remain-esque jumpdafuckup rhythms and dance-club undertones, and "Gimme More (SID)" is the most vomitously annoying song that hasn't been recorded by Kylie Minogue. Frankly, "Gimme More (SID)" is an such abomination to metal -and music in general- that the band should issue a public apology for its very existence. Due to the ridiculous nature of the album as a whole, it really can't be determined if the song is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but the fact remains: it fucking sucks, and it doesn't need to exist.
I suppose if Boa vs. Python 2 or The Crow 7: CyberCrow in Hong Kong needs some music for the token "searching the crowded nightclub for the antagonist" scene, a cut from Overworld would be fantastic. If you, the consumer, need some music that doesn't make you want to rip your face off and jam it into your ear canals, don't look here. It's quizzical that the most upbeat music is the most likely to spur self-mutilation, isn't it? Take that, Shining.
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