Machinae Supremacy - Overworld
Spinefarm Records
Power Metal
12 songs (52:12)
Release year: 2008
Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Kyle
Archive review

After listening to almost strictly black and death metal this weekend, I decided to wind down on Sunday night by listening to a much simpler and more laid back album. Sometimes, when I’ve listened to nothing but harsh vocals, dark tremolo lines, and endless blast beats for an extended period of time, all I want is something loud, simplistic, yet very fun to listen to at the same time. That’s where Machinae Supremacy comes into play. Though by no means an original band, their combination of memorable hooks and video game-influenced electronics turns out to be a highly infectious concoction of pop-y power metal that isn’t the least bit shallow, and will surely have you coming back for repeated listens.

Though I wasn’t really a fan of the Swedish natives before Overworld, this 2008 album changed all that. On Machinae Supremacy’s last album, Redeemer, the band opted for a path that didn’t fully utilize their unconventional synthesizers to the best of their ability; Rather than being infused into the music as an essential part of the overall sound, the synths were kept on the surface, serving as little more than a dressing for the music. With Overworld, however, the electronics are more prominent throughout, adding several layers to the music at once and making the songs much more interesting and memorable. The riffs and drumming are both fairly traditional; the guitar department consists mostly of very strong, hard rock - influenced power chord lines, traditional heavy metal palm muted riffs, and solos that range from being kept at a modest level to glorious melodic shred fests. The drumming also follows in this vein, coming in several different styles of the aforementioned genres. The vocals are quite unlike anything I’ve heard; they’re rather high pitched, but never too high, and have a sort of nasally quality to them that gives Robert Stjärnström a signature sneer that I like quite well.

The synthesizers, much like with the Blackguard album I reviewed last week, are in a league all their own. Anybody that has ever played an NES will feel a huge twinge of nostalgia at songs like Dark City and Sid Icarus; several bands have attempted this style of Nintendo influenced electronics before, but none of them have ever succeeded on a scale and professional level quite like Machinae Supremacy. This makes HORSE The Band look like a fucking joke (Which it is already).

Normally, this is the part of the review where I would tell you that, unfortunately, this album is not without its flaws, here’s what the band can do to improve upon their sound for a future album, etc., etc. But amazingly, there isn’t really very much to criticize with this album. I'm not the biggest fan of the song Gimme More with its too-poppy vibe, but other than that, everything is virtually flawless, even if it does lack any sense of originality. Machinae Supremacy knows what they want to do, and they do it damn well; they don’t care about being the most inventive band in the world, they just want to have fun and let their listeners have fun with their form of extremely catchy and powerful metal music. If you’re looking for a no-frills, anthemic, fist-pumping, adrenaline charged album to sink your teeth into, then look no further than Overworld.

Killing Songs :
Overworld, Need For Steve, Skin, Dark City, Sid Icarus
Kyle quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Machinae Supremacy that we have reviewed:
Machinae Supremacy - Into the Night World reviewed by Andy and quoted 82 / 100
Machinae Supremacy - Phantom Shadow reviewed by Andy and quoted 87 / 100
4 readers voted
Your quote was: 97.
Change your vote

There are 9 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:51 pm
View and Post comments