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Deep in the heart of an unknown galaxy lies a planet engulfed in fire and destruction, where war has begun and hope is about to end.
That little sentence basically sums up the music of Empyrean, a forceful blast of fiery death metal, cyber/industrial passages, and full-blown, epic film score symphonies. Coming in at nearly 50 minutes, the album doesn't stop for a second, with only the 'Cryostasis_Simulation' interlude track halfway through. There are a few similar bands that could have influenced Mechina, such as Neurotech, Fear Factory, The Faceless as well as symphonic metal bands like Epica or Therion and other possible influences of soundtracks from famous films such as the likes of 'Star Wars' and 'Avatar'. All of these influences does give the impression of too many elements put into one album, however it is definitely an interesting approach.
Empyrean flows through each songs to the reaction of being a soundtrack of an epic cyberspace movie, which is absolutely great, if slightly incoherent. The album throughout has trademark death growls, clean male, sampled female vocals, and a 'mechanical' choir placed around the album, but rather disorderly, creating chaos around Empyrean. The same goes for the music; a range of death metal built up around orchestral and electronic samples is simply hectic, and if only Mechina took a bit more time arranging the album, we could have something really fantastic. The metal instrumentation and guitars doesn't sound pushed enough, compared with the vocals or symphonies, which take the most command of the album and feels very claustrophobic at times.
Each song cannot be divided up thanks to its current flow of steady sound into the next track, so picking out a highlight is tricky to find. A personal recommendation would go to 'Anathema' with its bombastic choirs, ethereal female, and powerful male vocals assembled like a vigorous stance in the battlefield of outer space. The production of the album isn't as crystalline as a quality movie soundtrack, but there still is plenty of room for improvement in every department and Mechina have more than enough talent to make it work. Empyrean is a real nugget of sound just waiting for you to embrace and discover its energy.
On the whole, Empyrean is a superb album full of exciting and very experimental elements consisting of death, industrial, symphonic, cyber, and even gothic metal elements scattered throughout. Mechina have possibly made their own sound with Empyrean and have an undeniably promising future ahead. Get ready to enter your spaceship and fight your way through till the end.