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Blacklodge - "MachinatioN" (CD)

Blacklodge - "MachinatioN" CD cover image

"MachinatioN" track listing:

1. TridenT (4:17)
2. NeutroN ShivA (3:57)
3. Neo.Black.Magic (4:09)
4. Industrial Temple MysticA (6:51)
5. Antichrist Ex Machina (4:22)
6. Order of the Baphomet (5:54)
7. Empire's Hymn (4:57)
8. All Seeing Eye (3:46)
9. Culto al Sol [SolarKult] (3:50)
10. The Other Side (5:38)

Reviewed by on July 30, 2012

"If black metal purists can get over their elitism long enough to give it a listen, and industrial or techno fans can learn to deal with harsh vocals and heavier songs, both camps could find a new favorite in 'MachinatioN.'"

Genre mashing two opposing ends of music is where extreme metal really shines, providing everything from instrumental and symphonic heaviness to chorus-chanting pop metal. Another foray into the collision of two worlds, Blacklodge’s “MachinatioN” is an explosion of dark an unholy black metal delivered through an industrial filter of strobe lights and robotic overlords.

The album lets the audience know what to expect right off the bat with immediate machine gun drumming mixed into an electronic beat. The result is something along the lines of Marduk or Gorgoroth taking an industrial/techno trip, without letting go of the Satanic themes, and with a hint of the utter darkness you’d expect from Deathspell Omega or Dodecahedron. Even the song titles play with the mash up of styles, with names like “Antichrist Ex Machina” and “Neutron Shiva.”

“MachinatioN” is a definitely a different take on this burgeoning sub-genre than what can be heard from other entries in the field. Blacklodge offers a new metal experience, even for those who have already heard the electronic or techno focused material from Nachtmystium, Illidiance, or Nachtblut. The ending of each track tends to work into the beginning of the next song, creating a spectacular flow amidst all the chaos. Despite the introduction of “non-kvlt” elements, “MachinatioN” isn’t light on the black metal at all, as it’s still completely extreme. The vocals are as harsh and hateful as anything from a USBM band, and the tracks are based around the guitars as much as the industrial aspects.

The album blends the two opposing worlds together well by effectively utilizing strong drum beats, which bridge the gap between the arms-crossed metal and the head bobbing electronica. Every song has a recognizable hook, but it’s always taken to a heavy (and evil!) place. There are only a few places where the mix doesn’t work well, like the overly repetitive “Antichrist Ex Machina” or the annoying sound effects on “Empire’s Hymn.” The final track also breaks from the standard, leaving out all the metal aspects and instead going solely for atmosphere, using voiceovers and clips in the background for the entire song.

As far as sub-genres go, industrial black metal doesn’t have a whole lot of flag bearers, and Blacklodge is a welcome and necessary addition to the roster. If black metal purists can get over their elitism long enough to give it a listen, and industrial or techno fans can learn to deal with harsh vocals and heavier songs, both camps could find a new favorite in “MachinatioN.”

Highs: The album doesn't skimp on either the evil black metal or the head bobbing electronic elements.

Lows: There are a few places where the mixup doesn't work well or gets too repetitive.

Bottom line: If you ever thought Dodecahedron or Deathspell Omega needed to go industrial and throw in an electronic beat, this is the album for you.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 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)