Machine Brain is the second album of Turkish black metal band Moribund Oblivion and sees them growing into a more experimental act, utilising plenty of sampled keyboards, a more stripped down melodic guitar tandem, vocals that alternate between screams and death growls, and atmospheric synth arrangements.
Unlike the band's previous album Khanjar, Machine Brain is a better produced and recorded album. It is different both musically and sonically, with added industrial overtones and lyrics that address more social issues than their previous releases. Listening to the album several times, it could be argued that the lyrics are about technology and its negative effects on society. The opening title track begins with footsteps before kicking off with a heavy bass focus and a thick melodic guitar theme. The slighlty electronic keyboard sequencing immediately suggests Machine Brain is different from its predecessors, and given the darkness factor the song entails, perhaps shares a bit more in common with vocalist Bahadir Uludaglar's solo project Groza, released last year. The hugely melodic "4 Eras 4 Light" features sparse piano notes over ominous yet strangely easy-listening guitar chords. It is with "Hypnos" where things get heavier and more in-your-face, as a combination of marching riffs and drums really works in the otherwise experimental soundscape.
"I Remember" is a soothing acoustic instrumental, with subtle keys and mournful lead effects thrown in. Not too different from the last song "The F.R.E.O." (The Falling Reign of Engraving Oblivion), a track from the band's previous album that sees the band putting an acoustic interpretation on the number. This one is a bit busier than "I Remember", considering the neat doubled guitars and production. The album's two most interesting songs follow each other. "New Golden Age" recalls The Kovenant a bit, mainly because of its deep industrial throbs, weird pianos, and brutal death growls; while its successor "Final Chaos" sees the band going back to its immediate old school black metal scheme, delivering a slightly repetive main chorus with screechy vocals and an unexpected bass pattern that stands out upon the first listen. "Robert Oppenheimer" is an appropriate choice to close this 37-minute album and has a hypnotic keyboard solo that runs through it.
Given this is the route Moribund Oblivion wants to explore, their new album might end up more consistent and powerful. All they need is some more time to mature and grow as a cohesive unit.
- Machine Brain
- 4 Eras 4 Light
- Machinized Anarchy
- I Remember
- New Golden Age
- Final Chaos
- Robert Oppenheimer
- The F.R.E.O.