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Mechanical God Creation - Artifact of Annihilation

Mechanical God Creation – CD Review
Artifact of Annihilation

Mechanical God Creation

CD Info
WormHoleDeath Records
11 Tracks
English Lyrics

Artifact of Annihilation is a tirade. It is 43 minutes of technical death metal outrage directed at the effects of the mechanical-industrial hive we have built for ourselves. Mechanical God Creation (MGC) roars and bellows in fury at the destruction our over-industrialization is wreaking on the only habitable environment we will ever know in this Universe. The band also storms against the dehumanizing effect of mechanization as it turns us into slaves of the machines that are supposed to serve us.

Death metal is a good vehicle for expressing this type of deep anger. Although there are many who don’t realize it, even among the metal community, death metal in its various forms is generally not anti-human or cruel. Rather, it aims its harsh barbs at events and circumstances that cause human misery. It is the musical protest poetry of the modern age.

In spite of the apocalyptic theme, Artifact is less brutal than the band’s previous full-length album, Cell XIII. This is due in large part to the inclusion of two guitarists in the new line-up. Vocalist Luciana Cantananti – just Lucy to her fans – reshaped the band and its approach after they endured a huge split from their previous record company and each other shortly before recording the new album. She certainly put her brain to most effective use in bringing together guitarists Mirko Frontini and Francesco Calligaris. They co-ordinate brilliantly in performing their dazzling riffs, lavish harmonies and elegant solos.

Lucy has been and remains the driving force, the creative mastermind, behind MGC. Her astuteness is further on show with her selection of the rhythm guys, Salvatore Duca on bass and Carlo Molinara on drums. They read their way into the music effortlessly and elegantly.

Without going into detail about the personal and professional disputes that tore the old band apart, suffice it to say that we now have a New! Improved! MGC delivering slick, polished performances sustained throughout the album. Cell XIII came in for some harsh criticism. The reception for Artifact has been much warmer – especially from Italian writers – and justifiably so. MGC has become one of Milan’s hottest metal inventions (well done, Lucy!).

The drilled, tightly disciplined and sometimes formulaic tech death metal approach is somewhat tempered on Artifact – so much so, in fact, that it often feels more like melodic death. Lucy and her guitar wizards have veered away from the jazzy, djenty influences that pervade a lot of modern tech death. They are much truer to the naked death metal sound, but with the addition of numerous melodic overlays.

Comparisons are sometimes inevitable but not necessarily odious. I don’t believe there is any implied criticism in saying that MGC often echoes the styles (but doesn’t duplicate or copy them) of longer-running melodic death bands such as Arch Enemy or newer melodeath outfits like Solution .45 or Xerath. All of those bands are noteworthy for melody as well as forcefulness.

Indeed, after hearing this album, some are going to compare Lucy with Arch Enemy’s Angela Gossow, widely acknowledged as one of the finest dark vocalists, one of the best female growlers. Lucy is damn good at this style. She doesn’t take a back seat to anyone in death vocals.

Fear not, tech death aficionados, there is plenty of technicality on this album. Some of the more complex passages need a few listenings to be fully appreciated. As I’ve repeated many times, one of the great joys of good metal is discovering something new and sparkling with every hearing.

Lucy and her team take top marks for the quality and variety of the compositions. Most of the tracks consist of high-tempo, gut-pounding metal that reverberates inside your cranium if you’re listening to it the right way, which is too loud for the neighbors. Each track has its own internal variations, though. Then there are two tracks in particular, “Lullaby for the Modern Age” and “Nomos of the Earth”, that become almost etudes by comparison.

The net impact of Artifact of Annihilation is warmly gratifying even through the dark and gloomy concept behind it. The music flows deliciously enough to warrant many plays.

Score: 9 / 10

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