01. Opposite Poles
02. I Shall Remain
03. The Serpent`s Greed
05. Reflected Dialogs
06. Mirror`s Aspect
07. The Toque Addarum
08. Beyond Realms of Reality Part 1
09. Beyond Realms of Reality Part 2
10. Silent State of Mind
Israel. Not a name that is usually associated with metal. However, despite being a small country with a disparate and often ignored audience, Israel’s metal scene is alive and kicking. The past few years have seen a slow ascent of Israeli names in the global market, with bands like Hammercult (opening for Sepultura on their tour), and Orphaned Land and The Fading being regular names in the rosters. Big names have also been frequenting the country, with acts such as Opeth, Steven Wilson, Destruction, Gojira, Meshuggah and others making the long trek to play for the local crowds.
What does this have to do with Mechanigod? Well, they’re from Israel. Not only are they from Israel, they’re young and represent the burgeoning hope placed by the scene on fresh, new voices. The biggest challenge is to experiment in a small audience, since success is precarious and dependent on sudden shifts in fashion. Mechanigod have the perfect answer: a solid, well-produced, debut album that takes local trends and turns them up to eleven. Mixing faster, iconic riffs with catchy breakdowns that hint at the local groove metal scene, Realms is an accessible, crisp jewel of aggression.
The production on this album is excellent. Produced at KEOSS Studios in Tel Aviv, the album presents a degree of clarity which is usually reserved for off-shore productions. Most worthy of note are the amazing sounds on the blast beats and drum fills littered through the album. The robust sound carries the more intricate guitar work where needed and doubles down on the heavy breakdowns. This is in part due to the reliable efforts of drummer Marom Shemesh but owes its debt to the excellent mastering as well.
However, the main strength of this album is without a doubt Eylon Bart, the lead singer. From the beginning of the album, Eylon’s voice delivers a convincing and moving diatribe against modern society, war and the deadly, flattening force of society. He moves from low, Jens-like growls, to high pitched screams channeling Lamb of God and Randy, always matching his pitch to the emotion conveyed. An excellent example of this, and the exceptional drum-work, can be found on the third track ‘Mirror’s Aspect‘. The track is a perfect example of the album’s strengths; beginning fast, it quickly turns to heavier guitar riffs, backed by robust bass and drums. These sounds only serve to elevate Bart’s amazing voice, punching home a message of hate against the dreaded God-Machine that rules us all.
This album is not without its flaws, naturally. These guys are young and as such, have fallen back on some clichés where more innovation would have been appreciated. The first “intro” track could have been easily done away with, as it adds nothing to the album. In addition, the structure of the album could have been better. For some reason, the more epic and lengthy songs have been placed at the end, resulting in a drop of energy. Moving them to the beginning would have done much for the overall cohesion of the work. And lastly, some of the guitar work needs a heavy hand in the composition phase. It sounds great, but a lot of it strives to be too anthemic, swapping generic riffs for the abilities you can clearly hear these guys possess.
When push comes to shove, this is an excellent debut album from a band that is definitely worth watching. A convincing and explosive work, Realms delivers a punch to the stomach. While it’s not the most innovative or experimental album you’ll hear this year, it’s an excellent death/groove release that’s sure to set your heart thumping. Powerful growls, concrete drum work and an overall feel that something has got to give—the world around them or Mechanigod.
And these kids ain’t budging.
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Mechanigod’s Realms gets…