Project Silence - Slave to the Machine - (5.5/10)
Published on August 14, 2016
Facing the prospect of reviewing Slave to the Machine properly, I went back and checked out 424, which I reviewed last year but totally forgot about since it left such little impact on me. Honestly, quite a bit has changed in this band’s camp since then, and it appears that they are trying to craft some nefarious blackened industrial monolith with the electronic trappings serving as mere window dressing, albeit utilized in a competently atmospheric way. The licks are dark and venomous, lacing Slave to the Machine with sorely needed muscle, since this band’s core sound falls closer to something like Deathstars as opposed to Shade Empire, Gloria Morti and the like; although they certainly draw influence from those avenues too.
I guess the biggest beef I have with this record is that it is a monochrome exercise in dark industrial aesthetics with fuck all else going for it. The production is beefed up and the bass is prominent, clanging and banging on an equal level with the guitars, but the scarcity of the synths leaves the rest of the band out in the cold. The vocalist croaks and yowls his way through a Vesania-esque performance; monotone and yawn inducing on its own. The band sounds like they are trying an approach similar to Fear of Domination on songs like “Circus of Seven,” but it lacks purpose. The faster and more urgent-sounding tunes like “The Era of Fear” sound like they might go somewhere at first, but the band quickly devolves into mere genre posturing. Props for that killer bass tone, but that’s about all I’ve got.
The formula here is rather predictable and trite. Examples like “Prototype” and “Titan” both open with interesting synth lines, especially the latter. The band quickly (as in like ten seconds) tosses these sections away in favor of stale riffing patterns that sputter all over the place along with that annoying vocal stuttering effect. Sometimes it approaches God the Lux-era Vesania, and these are naturally some of the best moments. Elsewhere, more wasted potential arrives with the instrumental “Abyss.” A total waste of keyboard masturbation, a better choice would have been a somber and ichor-laced tune like Shade Empire’s “Ravine.”
Slave to the Machine doesn’t suck outright, but it is a huge bore and step down from 424. Project Silence sound like they are trapped between two sounds, bridged over a stylistic gap and losing their grip quickly. There are only a handful of memorable riffs throughout the entire fifteen-song affair. The closer “Invasion” is actually the best tune here, but “Titan” and “Prototype” have their moments as well. I wasn’t totally sold on the debut either, so if you enjoyed that you should still check this one out. Also notice that nearly all of the bands I have mentioned in this review are from Finland.