Machinae Supremacy - Into the Night World
Hubnester Records
Video Game Power Metal
10 songs (39' 49")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Andy

From their last LP, a concept album that was very good with some rough edges, video-game metallers Machinae Supremacy hand us a more traditional power metal album in the form of Into the Night World. Listeners who loved the nifty SID-chip tunes that are the band's claim to fame will still find plenty of them, but this time the tone is muted, with more emphasis on the Euro power guitars. The result is an album that is less adventurous than its predecessor, for better and worse; its failures are less jarring, though some of its bombastic brilliance in the places that it gets right is similarly muted by comparison

The diamond-sharp production is still as nice to listen to as ever, and as if to underscore their commitment to SID-based metal, the first songs start with intros from the synthesizer. That, too, continues to sound fantastic; the band's mastery of the SID as a full-fledged instrument in their repertoire has always delivered the goods and dug the band out of an occasional hole. It shines just as well when providing accents to the harmonized two-guitar riffing on The Beast Engine, where the guitars get to be the stars of the show, as when it takes a central role on its own tracks, such as the instrumental Sid Metal Legacy. Here, unlike on the last album, there's no flip-flopping as to whether songs ought to be a showcase of the SID's capabilities or a straight-up power metal song, a move that leads to fewer of the awkward songs found on Phantom Shadow.

There are still a few of the flaws of the last album left, though, especially in vocalist Gaz's emo-style voice. Occasionally hard to listen to on the last go-around, it's gotten more obnoxious and nasal since then. I suspect it's due to the greater number of mid-tempo songs found on Into the Night World, and the addition of a power ballad (Remember Me) which is disgustingly sappy, but perhaps I shouldn't criticize the mid-tempo material too much, as they are quite good in their execution and some of the best songs fall into that category -- including both the intricate synth/metal interweavings of Beast Engine and the melody and guitar harmonies of Stars Had to Die So That You Could Live, which make it possibly the best song on the album, even with the near-complete absence of the synthesizer element. The title track, too, is a strong showing, a tight meld of the video-game synth with the band's metal elements that they achieve in their best moments.

With the final track, it becomes clear that the often-bizarre video game worship of Phantom Shadow was set aside here to make a safer and more accessible power metal album, and the guitar sound and overall consistency of the album benefit from that; few people will mourn the demise of spoken-word pieces between the tracks, for example. But Into the Night World is a retreat to safer, more familiar territory, and not everyone's going to see that as a step forward.

Killing Songs :
The Beast Engine, Stars Had to Die So That You Could Live, Sid Metal Legacy
Andy quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Machinae Supremacy that we have reviewed:
Machinae Supremacy - Phantom Shadow reviewed by Andy and quoted 87 / 100
Machinae Supremacy - Overworld reviewed by Kyle and quoted 84 / 100
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