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Marazene - "MachiNation" (CD)

Marazene - "MachiNation" CD cover image

"MachiNation" track listing:

1. Bete NoiRe
2. InFidel SoCieTy
3. XecuTe
4. A Prayer for the PeTheTic/The BirTh of wRaTh
5. giVe (SkumF***ers)
6. MachiNation
7. MooGs LaMent
8. UnCerTain
9. AnTiThesis
10. MonStroSity
11. Self-WorTh
12. (I)See The
13. sTay aWay
14. AlterNative
15. tHere is BeauTy

Reviewed by on January 27, 2010

"This Chicago-based band has a sound that's reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, and other industrial mainstays, without sounding derivative."

Groove and brutality have seldom coexisted as well as they do on Marazene's "MachiNation." It's a smooth running industrial machine that will get your blood and your fist pumping. This Chicago-based band has a sound that's reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, and other industrial mainstays, without sounding derivative. Marazene's is a thick, multi-layered sound, with a wall of guitars, bass and drums existing alongside programmed electronic noise and samples. Small wonder then that when the band tours, the colorfully named mainstay members skUM (guitars, keyboards and programming), DieTrich Thrall (bass, guitars and vocals), and Kristov (drums) are joined by guitarists Daniel Gash and Jeph Stiph.

The album begins deceptively quietly, with the first part of "Bete NoiRe" featuring a quiet, creepy keyboard before the drums and guitars come crashing in. Kristov's hard hitting drumming powers this song, which features a welcome dose of anger and self-loathing in the lyrics. A sudden twist into dance floor territory and back into metal keeps things interesting as well.

"Infidel Society" has a bit of a Rob Zombie "Hellbilly Deluxe" feel in the beginning. It's less of a pure metal track, but has enough guitar bite and shouting that most metalheads won't mind.

Overall, there's a fair amount of variety on the disc, with metal-leaning tracks like "giVe (Skumf***erz)," "Self-WorTh," and "AnTiThesis," as well as more "glow-sticks-and-ecstasy-tabs" stuff like "XecuTe" and "(I) See The." The band even experiments with softer sounds on "tHere is BeauTy," which starts harsh and ends with what sounds like a single synthesized violin.

On the downside, there are too many tracks that just feel like samples and ambient noise. One of them, "MonStroSity," features a creepy sample of ravings by Charles Manson and works well. On the other hand, "A Prayer for the PaTheTic/The BirTH of wRaTh" and "MooGs LaMent" simply feel like filler, making the album seem longer than its 52 minutes.

Still, on balance, Marazene's "MachiNation" is a solid slab of industrial metal. It mixes anger with hooks and grooves and beauty with brutality in a way that will get your heart racing and your head banging.

Highs: "Bete NoiRe," "giVe (Skumf***erz)," and "MonStroSity"

Lows: "A Prayer for the PaTheTic/The BirTH of wRaTh" and "MooGs LaMent"

Bottom line: A solid bit of industrial metal that features a variety of sounds, speeds, and styles.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)