|3rd Machine – ‘Quantified Self’ (Into The Limelight)|
|Written by Mark Ashby|
|Friday, 23 September 2016 03:40|
Dutch "modern metal" (their words, not mine) quintet 3rd Machine have produced a hellishly complicated album with this, their debut full-length offering.
In many ways, it is a concept album, containing as it does the central lyrical theme of the perils of our modern digital age, as extrapolated through song titles such as ‘Reboot Initiate’ and ‘System Idle’ – and especially the three part, or rather, phase, ‘The Digital Evolution’ set which comprises the second stanza of the album – and lyrics such as “Subtract your mind / Abstract your faith / Knowledge combined to join the race” (the opening verse of just-released single ‘Ultimate Intelligence’, the middle of the aforementioned triptych, which features a guest performance from Epica’s Mark Jansen).
Stylistically, ‘Quantified Self’ lies somewhere between the EDM-edged industrial thump of Fear Factory and the anger-driven groove of the likes of Machine Head, combining ferocious blastbeats of percussion with thick, grunting riffs, overtopped by the impressive vocals of John Ruiter, who switches from confrontation to embrace with effortless ease.
Stand out track is the above-referenced ‘Ultimate Intelligence’: it starts off extremely calmly, building from a softly-strummed guitar-over-piano intro before hinting at a level of impending violence and then erupting into a vicious tirade of venomous vocals over a staccato main riff which forces its attention on you and demands that same is retained throughout its epic scope, with the intro reflected in the main bridge at around the halfway point. Like the rest of the album, the song contains multiple layers, both vocally and musically, with multiple themes crashing in and out in a way which could seem discordant but effectively echo the underlying message.
With ‘Quantified Self’, 3rd Machine declared that they wanted to create a modern metal album. They have succeeded in doing just that, and with aplomb and efficiency. Well worth checking out.