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Excellent, Odd, Industrialized, Technical Thrash - 90%

rwolfe, February 1st, 2013

Wrekking Machine is one of those obscure bands you stumble upon and consider yourself a lucky dog for it. Mechanistic Termination appears to be the only full-length they ever came out with, and the world is a better place for it. Too bad we couldn't have gotten more from these guys.

Mechanistic Termination sounds a lot like Toxic or Watchtower leaned a bit more toward crossover and also took on a band member who was heavy into industrial music, and they let it show in the songwriting and sounds. They are tight, technical, heavy, and use a lot of thrash riffs. The tempos range from mid- to true speed/thrash speeds. No true grindcore parts and no slow dirges. Definitely a product of the late 80's/early 90's, and with not a hint of nu metal or melodic death at all. There are a lot of great, thrashy, upbeat crawls with intricate picking.

Here's what makes the band and this one record really unique, though. There are distorted vocals here and there, as well as the occasional weird sound effect, like an industrial band might use closer to 100% of the time, but if you go looking for these touches, there really aren't many of them. Even so, if you think of Wrekking Machine's sound, it definitely overlaps or at least touches an industrial sound. But it's mostly because of the actual writing and execution of the guitars and drumming. The riffs and tempos are just very mechanical, manic, and upbeat. Thrash metal in particular is often comprised of guitar riffs that are more percussive in nature than truly melodic, and Wrekking Machine does this extremely well. Even so, they have catchy "choruses" and interludes that will stick in your head. They are not so experimental as a Voivod or even Prong, though. This is dated, old-school thrash at its heart, but with these touches that do make Wrekking Machine different from the rest in the same category.

Also, Wrekking Machine has a serious attitude. A lot of that is conveyed in the vocals. The singer is not typical. He reminds me at times of the guy from Toxic or Watchtower, though he's not quite that high in register. And he's more snarky and reminiscent of something you might more likely find in a crossover act. He does not take away from the heavy, though, and he is a highpoint of their sound, if you ask me. But it is different and makes the band who they are as much as the mechanistic songwriting approach. That stated, it may be that you might find some folks who would say, "I like that band, but singer doesn't do it for me." He is different.

The guitar tone on this record is great. Razor, yet not tinny. Nice, full-throated crunch. The solos are mostly of the more technical variety, like something you'd hear on a Toxic or Watchtower record. The record has pretty great production all-around. The percussion can be pretty frenetic and have a lot going on, but it's all easy to pick out and quite impressive, actually.

For fans of Watchtower, Faith or Fear (especially like what they did on Titantium), Destiny's End, truly heavy music with a lot of attitude, thrash metal in general, maybe a soft spot for crossover, and odd timing/interesting picking.

Highly recommended.