"Black Hole Machine" is the debut full-length studio album by Canadian, Ottawa, Ontario based progressive death metal act Dissentient. The album is a self-released affair. Dissentient were formed in 2005 and released a demo in 2007.
The music on the album is a sci-fi themed technical death metal combined with angular odd-metered Meshuggah type grooves. The music is both sharp and edgy but also atmospheric. The latter is much due to the spacy atmosperic guitar themes and synths, that provide the right sci-fi atmosphere to go along with the lyrical themes. The band are very well playing and we´re treated to precision riffing and adventurous drumming. The vocals are somewhere between death metal growling and more raw shouting, so I guess the music is actually more a combination of progressive death metal and groove oriented thrash metal than "regular" technical death metal. Most tracks are relatively similar in style, but the closing 10:33 minutes long "Dystopian Weakness" is more progressive than the rest of the material and stands out as one of the highlights of the album.
The sound production could have prospered from a bit more polish, but on the other hand the raw nature of the sound suits the grim sci-fi atmosphere pretty well, so I´m slightly biased here.
Honestly "Black Hole Machine" isn´t the most innovative or original sounding release out there. However it packs about a ton of punch and features a great dark sci-fi atmosphere, that makes up for much of the lack of originality, and overall it´s a pretty great debut album release by Dissentient. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.