Stockholm is not only the most beautiful city I’ve ever been to, but also the mother to many top-quality musical talents. MAN.MACHINE.INDUSTRY is one of them.
“Lean Back, Relax And Watch The World Burn” is already their 4th full-length and it’s not just the title that’s awesome (because I don’t believe you didn’t smile deviously when you read it). It’s industrial metal at its best, but not the RAMMSTEIN kind. More like the FEAR FACTORY kind, meaning thrash-, heavy- and groove-influenced. As they say themselves, “metal with an industrial touch”.
Without being a conceptual album, “Lean Back…” is apparently inspired by the Canadian documentary “Aftermath: Population Zero”, a film which describes the sudden disappearance of human kind off the Earth and the erosion process of everything Man built in the following years. Therefore the apocalyptic theme of the song titles and lyric content.
I usually don’t write song-by-song reviews, but given the unique details of each one of them in this album, it would feel wrong and unfair to do otherwise. So here it goes.
The first track is called “To A Blood Red Sky”, but the whole chorus line is “raise your fist to a blood red sky”. And that’s just how fierce it is –as fierce as clenched fists in some street protest. Or metal concert. Punk riffs, killer beats and a gang-vocal chorus. Soon there will be a video for it and needless to say, I’m anxious to see it.
“We Are The Walking Dead” is not a zombie song, although the principle is the same of the series with a similar title – that we’re doomed. In contrast, it begins with some baby music mobile playing, with sounds of children in the background – you know, kids, beginning of life and supposedly a whole future ahead? Then the “real” music marches heavily on, and I mean “march” literally. And in the chorus, the baby music is heard again, in the back.
The following track once again distinguishes itself from the others with its dancing samples. “Vivite Et Sinite Mori (Live And Let Die)” is the synthpunk track of the album, while “War God” is the most heavy metal one – despite a very industrial solo.
The rhythm slows down to an ominous pace in the title-track, where the synths remind you of the ‘70’s horror movies and therefore enhancing the gloominess of it. The darkness in “The Cage”, on the other hand, is the beautiful kind, not spooky, its melody qualifying it for the ballad-category.
“Let Go” starts with a bluesy vibe before going into a more rocking direction. It has a strong bass line, but then again, M.M.I. treat the bass like a real instrument, not just some thing that contributes from the shadows. Those deep vibrations are very distinct throughout the whole album, which is another reason for me liking this band so much.
KILLING JOKE have been often credited as a “key influence on industrial rock” and by covering their 1984 single “Eighties”, M.M.I. proved it right. The band invited Jens Westin from heavy rock band CORRODED to sing here and filmed a video also inspired in the original version of it.
Not even the piano or the mid-tempo make of “What You See Is What You Get” a soft song, but if you need to let out some steam, then you should try to sing along “The Blind Leading The Blind” pre-chorus. Or bang your head to the aggressive rhythm of “Aim! Hold! Fire!”.
And the last song, “Time”, has some epic feeling to it, mixed with the cranking of the rhythm section and a guitar-hero kind of solo.
In the end, there’s an untitled 13th track which is not really a song. A female voice (Lady M) speaks in Swedish over the tick-tack of a clock and some faded acoustic guitar, and even if you don’t speak the language, you feel the speech is about the end of world.
I bought the digital format of this album on iTunes, a couple of months after its release last March. But soon I’ll get the physical CD as well. After all of the above, guess I don’t need to explain why.
Label: GMR Music
- To A Blood Red Sky
- We Are The Walking Dead
- Vivite Et Sinite Mori (Live And Let Die)
- War God
- Lean Back, Relax And Watch The World Burn
- The Cage
- Let Go
- Eighties (KILLING JOKE cover)
- What You See Is What You Get
- The Blind Leading The Blind
- Aim! Hold! Fire!