Sounds of heavy machinery, squashing the means of man's existence, a future world smeared by disgrace, distorted figures, a domain eating a way its inhabitants slowly, day after day, a bleak reality destined to continue until the meltdown of humanity failing the test of time. Under shadowy and murky skies eroded by thickened poison, achieved by an insane Metal veteran bearing the name of Steve Smyth (ex-NEVERMORE, ex-FORBIDDEN, ex-VICIOUS RUMORS, ex-TESTAMENT), ONE MACHINE was generated, conceived underneath a mutation of genres, grinding through aspects of Thrash, Death and Groove Metal creating a contemporary wicked kind of sullied progressiveness, shattering with an utmost muck. Freshly signed to the Italian label Scarlet Records, Smyth and his starlet multinational team, consisting of Mikkel Sandager (ex-MERCENARY), Jamie Hunt (BIOMECHANICAL), Tomas “O’Beast” Koefoed (MNEMIC) and Raphael Saini (ex-CHAOSWAVE), released their debut "The Distortion Of Lies And The Overdriven Truth", a deformed slap on the wrist that could easily mess you up.
Nothing prepared me to what I listened on this album, nothing by a long shot. It was more or less a complete amazement, as I was thinking of yet another version of VICIOUS RUMORS of something that will resemble that Thrash / Power infringement of nowadays, meaning brutal, heavy but with a sharp reminder of the early classics. As it would seem, my expectations were nowhere to be close to the reality that formed in right before me. Even though I thought that the production in general is a bit rough, especially with the high end tune up of the lead guitars, the level of playing, on all counts, is simply deranged, the band's unified skill is no more than awesome. I listened to Smyth's playing the past, but this here performance is surreal. Furthermore, his peers are no less that decisive and convicted in their attributes. Honestly, I was mortified, positively so, by Sandager's vocal routine, remembering him fondly as the melodic vocalist of the Danish MERCENARY. Insanity would only play a small part of what this guy did on this release, singing in an hoarse and harsher tones, almost devilish, crossing robustly between Tim "Ripper" Owens and Jason McMaster, along with his usual soothing voice that still shines with honor. Sandager is possibly one of the strongest points of the entire group, other than the manic playing of the instrumentalists.
I believe that material wise Smyth outdid himself this time, showing that distinguished reminiscent of NEVERMORE / TESTAMENT, yet also following the European contemporary melodic extreme Metal ambiences of the later era of MERCENARY along with the immense psychosis of the power foursome of CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED in his music. The songwriting is quite overwhelming, twists and turns all the way with stopping points of enthralling harmonies mainly of the vocal line and an exchanging of soloing between masterful guitarists. Mammoth diversity within the riffing, largely brutal and tormenting, destructive tones of utter chaos that will grip your as they flow. "Armchair Warriors" is a sort of a glimpse back into the early MERCENARY days with Sandager, a heavy charging banger with fine grooves, yet with a melodic attitude, especially on the choruses. "Evict The Enemy" is crushing blow of extremity, something between Death to Black Metal flings but with raspy tones vocals, an iron fist in the face while "Freedom And Pain" is a Thrash Metal discharge with bashing speed and quality melodies. "Last Star Alights" is an ultimate slow tempo groove emotive moment, appeared like a ballad but ended up being a mixture of early 90's PANTERA soothers to latest album NEVERMORE induction, an atmosphere that channeled strong feelings, perceptive and genius.
In overall, it could have been an amazing album, yet I must imply that I had a hard time with several cacophonous passages and seemingly a step out of context on several of the titles like "Defiance" or "The Distortion Of Lies And The Overdriven Truth", both showing off great potential but overly disordered to bear. Even so, this album, this multinational band, is the beginning of something great, Smyth attested that being a bit confrontational is stimulating and definite, a step beyond normality, can serve him well in the future. Please keep the industrial feel chaos coming.