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A roiling war machine. - 80%

Diamhea, December 17th, 2016

Naumachia's Machine of Creation initially appealed to me due to the ephemeral industrial vibe and electronic swaddling that encompasses the virile black/death mass of competent riffage. The more I listen to it, the more I begin to appreciate the band as a whole, but even with all of the trinkets of terror at their disposal, it's a heady task standing out from the stagnated pack nowadays. The album has a murky, dystopian vibe that reek of sulphur and razed bodies, with a mechanical, groove-inflected jaunt not wholly unlike Myrkskog or maybe Zyklon. There is also a palpable modern Polish death metal influence here, so the fact that the members hail from Norway and Poland is absolutely no surprise to me. At its best, Machine of Creation sounds like Crionics with a smidgen less groove and more appealing song structure, replete with decent lead encapsulation and meaty production values, albeit without sounding excessively polished and sterile. My ear is generally attuned to less predictable patterns, but the roiling death metal constituent of the band's sound is capable if a bit standard. The way the synths are laid over the rest evoke a cerebral, cacophonic sonic palate that is stretched to fit the jagged stylistic confines of the death/black mashup. Vocals also teeter back and forth between a voluminous growl and ichor-laced sneer.

The track "Multiple Personality" represents as lot of what Naumachia have to offer, including the madcap riffing assault and generously radiated vocals, coming at the listener from all measure of angles. Dissonance is thick enough to taste, but not to the point of coming off as trite or at the cost of the riffs' collective bite. The rusted edge of the riffs is still sharp enough to crank the bloodletting, and the modern death/groove cadence elicited within is testament to this on most tracks. Drums are upfront and busy, free to crank the murky discord on idiosyncratic blackened scorchers like "Scorched Earth" (heh, almost caught myself there), with sterile, airtight tremolos germinating within the industrialized confines. Parts of this remind me of Thy Disease, almost bordering on straight up industrial black metal. But no matter what avenue Naumachia press, they tend to excel or at least stand their ground aptly. Major key melodies are foreign to this album, but that doesn't mean there is any real shortage of memorable licks and motifs. The brooding end of "Scorched Earth" is an example of this, fused with electronic leads that buzz all about.

Machine of Creation isn't a modern masterpiece, but it is one of the better Polish death metal exports I've come across, almost perfectly displaying why I enjoy this scene so much. The band doesn't partake in a war of attrition through pure technicality, but the dexterous, swinging chords and stuttering machine gun chugging is precise as fuck and excels in lockstep with the focused drumming. The turbulent, tremulous drive of compact visceral crunchers like "Primal Instinct" fuse ascending death metal fret-crackers with babbling electronics and other eclectic fare, and that is only one of a handful of strong impressions made throughout Machine of Creation. Lyfthrasyr is another parallel that immediately comes to mind, even though Naumachia are slightly lacking in melodic aptitude and poignant synth utilization compared to the former. Still, this album really kills it and fans of modern death metal need to check this out. Don't let the electronics scare you away.