Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2017
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

The New Soul of an Old, Intricately-Run Machine - 92%

bayern, July 1st, 2017

This “machine” started running in the late-80’s when the guys managed two demos containing pretty acceptable classic thrash, more simplistic and direct on the first, and more complex and technical on the second one. Based on what they exhibited on that second showing, the band would have found a place under the metal sun in the company of technical/progressive thrash pillars like Watchtower, Toxik, and Realm in their homeland, but sadly they never got a chance to produce a full-length by the end of the decade…

It’s the year 1993 now, and the band’s debut is finally a fact. It took a while for it to see the light of day, but it was well worth the wait as the guys have elaborated on those technical flashes, and have come up with a really nice addition to the diminishing retro technical thrash catalogue of the 90’s. The overall delivery has a strangely optimistic, uplifting aura that brings this album close to the works of late-80’s Anthrax only boosted with more intricate, sometimes even plain experimental, rifforamas; something the famed New Yorkers could have turned into if they hadn’t chosen the post-thrashy noise… sorry, path with “The Sound of White Noise”. In the vocal department we have a more dramatic, higher-pitched tenor than Joey Belladonna, though, the man’s attached semi-declamatory antics quite reminiscent of the ones emitted by Sean Killian (Vio-Lence) and Russ Anderson (Forbidden).

A handsome package altogether which commences with “Hear Me Now (Listen to Me Later)”, a dramatic roller-caster with jarring spastic rhythms which gel well with the more linear speedy “skirmishes” both sides falling prey to a really nice stylish lead section in the second half. “Me Myself and I” has a moderate, albeit intriguing enough beginning the mid-tempo approach becoming both more melodic and more technical with time without too many intense, fast-paced “excursions”. “Brother Man” is a captivating, albeit quite weird combination of jumpy technical bounces and fast ripping motifs, a surreal blend that will enchant the headbangers for sure despite the several jilts and jolts along the way, and the superb twisted lead section. “I Am What I Am” is a great progressive thrasher with awesome fierce gallops and intriguing funky deviations the latter alternating with vitriolic speedy strokes the leads stupefying everyone again at the end.

“Wrongful Snagulation” pours jarring staccato riffs over the unsuspecting listener from the get-go, the riff “salad” becoming more and more dense and mazey recalling Realm’s “Suiciety” and Coroner’s “Mental Vortex”, the leads making another supreme showing this guy, the name Mike Wells, a true magician who is also in charge of the stylish labyrinthine rifforamas which go on unabated on “Without Direction”, the next in line impressive shredfest with fast and slower passages taking turns in a dizzying, overlapping manner reminiscent of Forbidden’s “Twisted into Form” with astounding choppy breaks arriving later to add more to the complex multi-layered drama. “Cripple” is the only full-blooded mid-pacer with the stop-and-go technique applied to the fullest the leads spicing the steady, not frequently changing environment which suddenly turns to bizarre instrumental march-like configurations on the intriguing short 1.5-min instrumental “Scoey’s Place”. “Nothin’ ta Do” thrashes with style bringing the riff density to the high parametres again the high-strung vocals unleashing a few memorable semi-chorus lines amidst the outlandish riff-patterns which constantly shift the pace in a hallucinogenic, not very logical at times, fashion all the way to the eclectic mind-scratching finale.

Yes, Anthrax could have tried their hands on something like that in order to hone their weapons and enhance their musical swagger. Despite the classic-prone tools of instrumentation this album has a somewhat sterile, mechanical feel that comes as a precursor to modern technical thrash behemoths like Aleister’s “Tribal Tech” and Aftermath’s “Eyes of Tomorrow”, both released a year later. Those associations come from the slightly dry, abrasive guitar sound, above all, rather than from any modernized methods of execution as the band wear the classic canons proudly on their sleeves. Kudos should be paid to the guys for trying this at a time when US progressive/technical thrash was already gone deep underground with Toxik, Realm, Blind Illusion, and Watchtower retired more or less timely although the technical death/thrash hybrid kept the level of musicianship high for another while before surrendering to either death metal or the industrial/groovy/post-thrashy vogues. The latter seemed like an option for our friends here who could have translated their quasi-sterile rifforamas for the new generation… Nah, they by no means wanted to wreck their “machine” with any detrimental, untested and untried “lubricants”.

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.