The Distortion Of Lies...

SKU: SC251-0
Label:
Scarlet Records
Category:
Thrash Metal
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"Back in the late eighties and early nineties I was a huge fan of that eras best thrash metal. Bands like Slayer, Testament, Death Angel, and Forbidden drew me in with machine gun double bass drums, lighting fast rhythms, and aggressive vocals. One Machine is the brainchild of guitarist Steve Smyth, best known for his stints in some of metals finest bands including Nevermore, Forbidden, Dragonlord, Vicious Rumours, and Testament, a stellar resume to be certain! For One Machine’s debut album, Smyth has formed a band that is compromised of a who’s who in the world of extreme/underground metal who were carefully selected by Smyth: Mikkel Sandager (Mercenary) on vocals, Jamie Hunt (Biomechanical) sharing guitar duties, rounded out by a powerhouse rhythm section with Tomas “O’Beast” Koefoed (Mnemic) on bass guitar and Michele Sanna on drums (although former drummer Raphael Saini of Italian progressive metallers Chaoswave played on the album). The Distortion Of Lies And The Overdriven Truth was recorded and produced by Steve Smyth. Mixing was handled by guitarist extraordinaire Roy Z (Judas Priest, Bruce Dickinson, Halford), mastered by Alan Douches (Three Inches Of Blood, Firewind, Sepultura) from West West Side Music with artwork created by Niklas Sundin from Cabin Fever Media (Dark Tranquillity, Arch Enemy), complimented with photography from Anthony Dubois (Meshuggah, Mnemic).

The songs harken back to the 80′s Bay Area thrash movement of bands like Early Metallica, Testament, Death Angel, Exodus, and Forbidden and melds it with the classic metal style of Painkiller era Judas Priest and the melody of Vicious Rumours. Lead vocalist Sandager sings clean for the majority of the album but can growl out some extreme growl vocals as well as ear piercing screams that would make Rob Halford proud. He also has a vocal similarity to Russ from Forbidden in places (Crossed Over). Unlike a lot of their thrash metal forefathers, the band has a penchant for writing choruses with melodic and catchy hooks (Armchair Warriors). The music is chaotic at times (Killing The Hope Inside) almost to the point of no return, only to transition into a melodic passage that brings things back from the abyss. The guitar solos are as frenzied and speedy as the songs, at times reminding me of classic Slayer. What you have here are ten no nonsense slamming brutally heavy tracks that will make you want to jump in the pit. The title track sets the tone for the album with neck snapping, whiplash inducing headbanging thrash metal. There are some lighter moments such as in Kill The Light Inside and most notably the dark and moody mid-tempo of Last Star Alights, but for the most part, each song on the album takes a turn pummeling the listener with heavy riffs and brutal rhythms (see Evict the Enemy).

One Machine is a band with a tremendous upside and possible crossover potential in the mainstream metal market with the right promotional push. Fans of Smyth’s revious work in Testament, Forbidden, and Nevermore will find a lot to love about this band, while fans of more melodic fare might be surprised to find lots of catchy melodies and hook laden choruses to sink their teeth into!" - Lady Obscure

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  • "On the success of their EP, Reflections, Italy's Cyrax returns with their first full-length album, Pictures. First impressions can sometimes be tricky and perhaps set aside for additional listens. But what can be said at the start is that Pictures offers some rather interesting progressive metal from some very talented and inventive fellows.While the "heavy metal" is apparent, it's not the first thing you might notice in Cyrax's musical equation. Notable is the extensive and varied use of keyboards, from quirky and innovative synths to the significant piano presence. Both can be found in the song Cyrax, which expresses the band's raison d'etre. However, the keyboard solo in the first half sounds like ducks farting underwater. The piano often adds a subtle even delicate nuance to a largely heavier number as in the later third of Shine Through Darkness Part I. Then at the start of Part II, the synths turn to the sound of harpsichord. If you're piano and synth fan, Larsen Premoli will give you a large and entertaining lesson in their creative use.A second thing of interest is the large use of classical music elements in nearly every song. I'm not talking about the huge use of keys to create some bombastic symphonic canvas (like Rhapsody of Fire, for instance). Cyrax uses both violin and cello, along with some choral vocals and piano, to steal lines traditional classical music. A superb example is These Greenvalleys where the strings are pronounced and female lead vocals stirring. The 7th Seal does much the same with piano line and choir vocals in the center of the song. Speaking more specifically to the vocals, the male lead vocalist Marco Cantoni quite the vocal wild card. His voice and sound is all over the place, screeching to screamo, cranky to gruff. It was hard to find him all that enjoyable.Alternatively, but also including many of the aforementioned aspects, several songs definitely put the heavy metal into Cyrax's progressive metal. Oedipus Rex, even with a generally subtle start, moves with some strong riffs and stinging guitar (against some of that piano). The three part Shine Through Darkness also has some very meaty parts, notable in the third part. But this trilogy, like all the arrangements, are diverse and varied showing the depth of Cyrax's creativity. Perhaps the best example of this might be the final instrumental track Phunkrax. Like the name implies it has some kind of funk, rock, and jazz fusion thing going on between the riffs, rhythms, and keyboards.Needless to say, Cyrax and their Pictures is not your ordinary, nor predictable, progressive metal, especially with the depths of it's classical music influence. It's definitely an album that's worthy of your attention and time. Easily recommended, just wish I had some music video to share at the end. (BTW: if you go to their web site you will find all the lyrics as well as the scores to the songs.)" - Dangerdog.com
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