The Machinist – I Am Void
Release Date: 04/12/2020
Running Time: 52:36
Review by Dark Juan
Greetings, my followers of the Horned God and keepers of my twisted gospel. It is I, Dark Juan, fresh from going full Jonathan Pie at the television and having had a stern telling off from Mrs. Dark Juan. Whereupon I have retired to my bedchamber in what can only be described as a magnificent sulk and stuck on the first record that came up on my electronic magic box of tricks (otherwise known as an elderly and temperamental Acer Aspire laptop that has been telling me for at least two years that there’s no memory left) which happened to be from The Machinist, who are a bunch of clearly insane and phenomenally dangerous psychotic Mancunians, which means they are entirely normal for denizens of the city of my birth. However, we are here for my thoughts on “I Am Void”, being their debut album, and the question is, if these mad, MAD Mancs have released a perfect peach or a pile of diseased, foetid arse?
Let us find out together.
First things first, you, dear readers, have to know that the blurb that came with this record was an out and out damned lie. It described the music as “A fusion of blasting black metal and machine driven death metal.”
What it should have actually said was, “HOLY FUCK WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY FACE AND WHAT IS THAT ABSOLUTELY UNHOLY AND BLASPHEMOUS SONIC WARFARE COMING THROUGH MY HEADPHONES AND TURNING MY MOTHERFUCKING BRAINS TO SOUP?!?”
You know how I’m ALWAYS banging on about The Berzerker and they hold the record for the most brutal and intense record ever made in their debut self-titled album? Well, hold on to your fucking trousers (and your underwear, because you’re going to be blown clear out of the fuckers), boys and girls and all other genders, tonight we celebrate the new kings of sonic violence, because our longstanding me(n)tal monarch Luke Kenny has been bested. Yes, not even our magnificently demented Aussie friend can stand in the way of The fucking Machinist. The sex wee quotient is explosive. There’s flashing red lights and klaxons everywhere and Alaska has declared a state of emergency because the sex wee storage tanks off the coast are in danger of catastrophic failure from sex wee overpressure…
Fucking JESUS, this record is savage. It’s all blades, heavy calibre machine guns and flamethrowers and artillery all rolled into one. Take the love child (for love child read absolutely murdering bastard fucking killing machine chimera of hatred) of The Berzerker, Akercocke and Anaal Nathrakh and try
to imagine that sound. Got it? Nah, mate, you aren’t even fucking close! There’s distorted kick drums, the kind of drumming that can only be accomplished by killer robots with heavily engineered pistons for arms, razorwire riffs that are not so much music as simple vessels for murdering entire rooms full of people in one go and vocals that bear no resemblance to any noise made by a human larynx ever before. I don’t even know how to describe the howling madness and predatory growls to an acceptable standard. There hasn’t been words yet invented to describe what I’m listening to. This is literally murder in musical form. It’s wide eyed, blood flecked, spittle drooling homicidal madness rampaging round at supersonic speed, roaring and shrieking sheer batshit insanity at extreme and inhuman volumes two inches away from your face. It will be no surprise to any of you to learn that I fucking love The Machinist now.
Although the music is primarily a hyperspeed amalgam of the most primal and martial black metal and the unrelenting brutality of death metal, that isn’t to say there are not subtleties at work here. Oh no, like a psychopath experiencing fleeting moments of clarity, The Machinist dial back the lunatic speed and blastpower and slow down to be like the most evil of serial killers to whisper in your trembling ear exactly what horrors they are going to perpetrate upon your helpless corpus. ‘Departure’ is the most notable example of this, as is album closer ‘Schwarzschild Radius’, both songs having the kind of power electronics found on Whitehouse records, and for all the speed and sheer madness these Mancunian sonic serial killers employ, they are surprisingly technical musicians, with multiple tempo and pattern changes throughout songs and different movements therein also. The keyboards employed throughout the record are never intrusive and at times remind me of when Emperor used then on ‘Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk’ and they add a gothic and often futuristic element to the sound of the Machinist that gives them the gravitas and grandeur that was missing from The Berzerker (who had opted for ultraviolence and gabba techno) and much more like Emperor mixed with the complete uberaggression of Anaal Nathrakh with added industrial precision. The industrial element of this record cannot be ignored, for it is this that lifts it up from contemporaries and gives it the je ne sais quoi to make this album truly, TRULY special.
I’ve run out of superlatives. Wait…. what? This is their DEBUT album? THIS IS A FUCKING DEBUT RECORD? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Jesus fucking Christ, how are this bunch of howling mad bastards going to top this one? It is not possible. It will cause a massive rupture in spacetime and destroy the universe as we know it if they get any faster or heavier…
Ah, I’m on to you, you fuckers. Nothing less than total musical apocalypse is your plan. Where do I sign up to join, our kid?
So yeah, this is the Holy fucking Grail, ladies, gents, and gentlepersons. It is rarer than rocking horse shit. It is a perfect debut album. I never thought it would ever happen but this is a fucking perfect debut album. I know I’m repeating myself. My brains are liquid and running out of my nostrils thanks to The fucking Machinist.
Right then, The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is utterly fucked beyond repair. The Machinist have broken it. It’s a 10/10 from it (it’s a googleplex out of ten as far as I’m concerned, but Rick has a scoring system and he has decreed that we use it properly for he is possessed of considerably more wisdom than I, who has literally frothed maniacally for over a thousand words during this review) and I wish I’d fucking heard this before I submitted my top ten records of the year because this should be in there. At the top. IT IS THAT GOOD.
EDIT: I changed my top ten list. So at least you know what I think is the best release of 2020 already…
01. Extinction Event
02. Skin Is Not Enough
03. The Sky Has Opened
05. Bleak Affirmations
07. Death Cults of Abraham
08. Magnificent Desolation
10. Schwarzschild Radius
John T – Synths, Drum Programming, Vocals
T – Guitar
Scott W – Vocals
K. Mackinnon – Guitar
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