“Catacombs Of The Black Vatican”. When I first heard of this title I thought of a Dan Brown novel. But no! This is the title of the new album by Black Label Society.
After their last great effort “A View From The End Of The World” in 2010 it is time again for Machinae Supremacy to release a new record called “Rise Of A Digital Nation”. Machinae Supremacy was always a band difficult to categorize as they blend together many styles from the melancholy of goth metal to speed of power metal to elements which remind you videogames. It’s a weird combination of sounds but they
mixed it nicely and make it sound good and are improving from album to album. Their signature sound comes from their use of the Elektron SidStation, a rare synthesizer that incorporates the sound chip from the Commodore 64 computer. For those too young to have beheld this now classic gaming PC, the SID chip creates audio typical of the 8-bit games of the ’80s, and it gives the band an entirely unique sound in a metal world where non-organic sounds are generally frowned upon (excluding keyboards in Power Metal and synthesizers in Industrial Metal).
Given the meteoric rise of the Chiptune scene in recent years (with bands using everything from ancient PCs to Game Boys to make 8-bit music), it would appear that they were ahead of the curve when they made their professional debut in 2004. It’s nice to see how far the band has gone and how much they have improved since their ”Rise Of A Digital Nation” is by far the band’s fastest and heaviest album to date, but interestingly, it’s also their tightest, catchiest, and most creative. 2008’s “Overworld” was fast and heavy but occasionally muddy, and 2010’s “A View From The End Of The World” was slick and
melodic but occasionally slow and boring, but “Rise Of A Digital Nation” has all the positive traits of both albums and few of their deficiencies. Fast tracks like “All Of My Angels” and “Laser Speed Force”
grab your attention early on, building up an adrenaline reserve for the anthemic cyber-generation tracks like “Republic Of Gamers” and the title track. We’re even treated a Pop-Punk track in “Pieces” and almost ten full seconds of dubstep in “Battlecry.
One of the greatest elements of the new album are the lyrics. Plenty of songs about kids “lost in the cyberspace” when they “should be outside.” On the other hand lyrics in other songs also recognize the magic of the internet giving the opportunity to people to connect from all over the world and about how social media and online gaming have created a sense of togetherness among the world’s youth. “Rise Of A Digital Nation” is a paean to the power of the Internet and the generation that turned it into the immutable social and cultural force that it is today. Every new release of the band is better than the previous one, so it’s no surprise that “Rise Of A Digital Nation” is the band’s best album to date. The more I think about this album, the less likely it seems like it should work; the dark, melancholy sound should contrast with the energetic, rebellious punk message, but instead, they’re perfectly balanced. The only complaint somebody can have from this album is the small length, the album is over before you know it!!!
|Track List||Line Up||
01. All Of My Angels
02. Laser Speed Force
04. Rise Of A Digital Nation
06. Cyber Warfare
07. Republic Of Gamers
Gibli – Guitars (lead)
Gaz – Guitars (rhythm), Vocals
Gordon – Keyboards, Bass
Nicky – Drums