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Death Machine: Death Machine

If you thought The Towers of Avarice, the second album by California's up-and-coming prog-metal band Zero Hour, was a dark and angry disc, wait until you hear Zero Hour's alter ego. Death Machine, a technical, brutal and gut-wrenching death-metal project, features three of Zero Hour's four members guitarist Jasun Tipton (hereby known in Death Machine as "Thrak"), bassist Troy Tipton ("Devin") and drummer Mike Guy. They don face paint, wear bizarre costumes and sound damn near apocalyptic.

Much like Zero Hour's music, most of the dozen tracks on Death Machine's self-titled debut erupt from your speakers challenging you, invigorating you and aurally annihilating you. Wearing their Meshuggah influences on their sleeves, the brothers Tipton lead a relentless rampage of ferocity with rumbling bass lines, jagged riffs and crushing drums. Singer Kirk (or "Throat;" no last name given) spews such lyrics as "Your presence screaming in my head/Constant reminder you're not dead" (from "Believing"), while the strategic use of Elias' keyboards lends an air of class to the chaos. Bolstered by effective (albeit occasionally sporadic) melodies, the disc reveals additional layers after each listen, and Zero Hour producer Dino Alden ensures that the aggression comes through loud and clear every time.

At 38 minutes, Death Machine is a short album, one that doesn't wear out its welcome. The disc's final track, "Not To Be," is an ethereal instrumental with a few beautiful female vocal passages that brings a harsh and raging album to a peaceful (I daresay hopeful) close. Listeners who think death-metal musicians lack talent, style and sophistication need to hear this record.

Added: February 2nd 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Official Death Machine Web Site
Hits: 2803
Language: english

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Death Machine: Death Machine
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-02-02 08:55:29
My Score:

Here's one of those bands that for whatever reason fell off my radar in 2003. Death Machine are a progressive metal band featuring three members of Zero Hour in disguise, Devin (Troy Tipton-bass), Thrak (Jasun Tipton-guitar), and Mike (Guy-drums), plus the vocals of Kirk, and keyboards of Elias. These guys have created here a brutal display of prog-metal meets death metal, high on technical expertise as well as angry aggression. While the influences of bands like Nevermore, Meshuggah, Fear Factory, and Slipknot are pretty apparent, the overall sound and talent that resides in these dozen songs speaks for itself. Huge waves of angry metal riffs adorne songs like "Cycle of Conscience" and "Inflicting", while the brief yet insanely technical "Schmeg" shows the insane talents of the Tipton brothers as they do their best Spastik Ink impression. The lead vocals of Kirk are brutal and menacing, but he's easy to understand and comes across so powerful that I wish other vocalists in the extreme music scene would give a listen and see how it is should be done. Mike Guy proves that the excellent drum work on the Zero Hour albums can easily be crossed over into heavier material-he's the underlying star here, blasting plenty of intricate fills and polyrhythms in addition to his pounding and steady grooves. This is an overall excellent metal album, and with the addition of a full-time female singer as well it will be interesting to see where they go from here.
Track Listing
01 Loss for Words
02 Separate
03 Tangled Root
04 Last Breath
05 Mere Reflection
06 Schmeg
07 Inflicting
08 Believing
09 Genocide
10 Cycle of Conscience
11 Dead
12 Not to Be



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