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Mechina are a symphonic metal band from Batavia, Illinois.
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MECHINA Discography

MECHINA albums / top albums

MECHINA The Assembly of Tyrants album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Assembly of Tyrants
Industrial Metal 2005
MECHINA Conqueror album cover 3.58 | 2 ratings
Symphonic Metal 2011
MECHINA Empyrean album cover 3.31 | 4 ratings
Symphonic Metal 2013
MECHINA Xenon album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Symphonic Metal 2014
MECHINA Acheron album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Symphonic Metal 2015
MECHINA Progenitor album cover 2.83 | 3 ratings
Symphonic Metal 2016
MECHINA As Embers Turn to Dust album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
As Embers Turn to Dust
Symphonic Metal 2017
MECHINA Telesterion album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Symphonic Metal 2019
MECHINA Siege album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Symphonic Metal 2021

MECHINA EPs & splits

MECHINA Tyrannical Resurrection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tyrannical Resurrection
Industrial Metal 2007

MECHINA live albums

MECHINA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MECHINA Embrace the Breed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Embrace the Breed
Industrial Metal 2004
MECHINA Demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Industrial Metal 2004

MECHINA re-issues & compilations

MECHINA singles (4)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Symphonic Metal 2011
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Symphonic Metal 2013
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Symphonic Metal 2013
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0.00 | 0 ratings
To Coexist is to Surrender
Symphonic Metal 2014

MECHINA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


MECHINA Progenitor

Album · 2016 · Symphonic Metal
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Metal Music Archives Reviewer's Challenge: Album selected by DippoMagoo.

A new release from the US metal act Mechina is like something akin to a ritual. Starting with their second release Conqueror (2011), every subsequent new album has been released on New Year's Day. With the exception of 2012, they've also released a new album every single year on this date and we can probably put 2012 down to them gaining momentum. Progenitor (2016) is their sixth album. For my part it is my introduction to the group's music. There is also an instrumental version of the album available but my review will stick to the main, original release with vocals.

Mechina's style of music is usually called a kind of industrial metal, specifically cyber metal. This actually puts me at a bit of a disadvantage (or maybe an advantage, depending on my point of view I suppose) in reviewing one of their albums, because my experience with industrial metal begins and ends with Rammstein and I really don't find anything relatable between the two band's styles based on Progenitor. The other side of the band is of course their symphonic metal elements, which is a style I am familiar with so I will pretty much have to look at this album as a symphonic metal album.

Featuring a mix of growled and cleanly sung vocals, some being by guest female vocalist Mel Rose, Progenitor comes across as something that takes a little bit of everything from the wide range that is the spectrum of symphonic metal, meaning there are epic moments, extreme moments and more commercial moments to be found within it. The extreme moments can even lean a bit towards death metal while the band also have an inherent catchiness to their songs that makes me think more of power metal, though their metal elements themselves never go along with these vibes.

The symphonic elements are ever-present in the band's music but they are not too over-dominating either. That's probably because they have to share the stage with some more electronic based work that I guess is where Mechina's relation to industrial/cyber metal comes into play. I do think the band overall fit the mould of symphonic metal a bit better though, as there are times in the music on Progenitor that it seems the electronic side is just a bit too buried within everything else that's going on. It feels much more dominant on a track such as Cryoshock, but overall doesn't seem to really be a main element in the music unless of course you're also supposed to count some rather mechanical sounding guitar riffs (which I'd simply attribute as sounding excessively modern if I was listening to this album with zero prior knowledge) and some vocal work that sounds like it may have been recorded for a dance record.

Whatever genre you want to call Progenitor, it's undeniable that it's a pleasant enough release to listen to. But for something that supposedly belongs to a genre (cyber metal) I've never listened to before I find myself disappointed by how familiar most of it feels. It's a very modern sounding release that seems to tick all the cliché boxes for a modern metal album. Even though it's the first Mechina album I've heard it gives me an impression that this must surely be Mechina by numbers. There's nothing to dislike about it (unless you're really adverse to electronic influences in metal in which case you'll probably hate this) but that really, is the problem. It doesn't invigorate me enough to even say I dislike it. It's just an album I heard and expect to forget about by this time next week.

MECHINA Conqueror

Album · 2011 · Symphonic Metal
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Mechina, while not entirely blowing me away, have produced material good enough for me to keep an eye on them. Having already checked out their latest two albums, Conqueror gave me another extension of their musical evolution to explore. Indeed, it does have all the things that make Mechina what they are in Empyrean and Xenon, but it seems more simplified here while also making it more streamlined. So while it's again not perfect, there's a few things the band could learn from themselves on this album.

The theatrical heavy metal space opera that this band is known for at this point still runs strong here. The intro track "Incipient Tragoedia" has a nice melody with the female singing, and that melody is revisited in the outro to the album "Ad Astra". Once the first song with guitars, "Pray to the Winds", comes around, it doesn't waste any time getting right into riffs though. Somehow, this album doesn't feature the awkward production that Empyrean features with burying the guitar in orchestral programming despite Conqueror being released before. The orchestral programming sounds more well balanced here and the guitars stick out more as a result which is actually a mixed blessing.

Mechina's Sybreed-Meshuggah inspired guitar work on this album is effective at adding to the sci-fi sound scape that they make but do end up being kinda boring by themselves, but they're improved when they go with the right mixture of the orchestra programming. "Pray to the Winds" and "The Iron Law" are the perfect examples of this and are the two best tracks on this album with the former's heroic overtones and the latter sounding like the score for a final boss battle in a sci-fi RPG video game. The other tracks however seem to have a more unbalanced mixture and just flat out fail to provide that epic atmosphere that I'm looking for. "Anti-Theist" and "Internecion" are the worst offenders in this case while "Non Serviam" and "Conqueror" do it to an okay degree but not to an outstanding one.

The lyrics have a lot of catchy moments though and I've found myself singing along with them under my breath when I listen to this on my iPod in public, especially "The Iron Law"'s "TOTAL-SYSTEM-FAILURE!" line. David Holch's vocals are mostly on the harsh side on this album with his clean vocals being contained to "Anti-Theist" and "Non Serviam" for better or worse. He doesn't quite pull the clean vox off quite as well as he does in Empyrean.

When you get right down to it, Conqueror basically does the same thing Empyrean and Xenon do. It's still worth listening to and it does run smoothly from start to finish. It's also only 37 minutes long as opposed to 50 on the succeeding two outings, so props to Mechina for not making an overlong album. When this band does stuff right though, they successfully land among the stars so I hope they continue what they're doing.



Album · 2014 · Symphonic Metal
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Despite my initial indifference towards Mechina and their 2013 album Empyrean, I have revisited the album quite a number of times and my interest in their music has grown to the point that when they released Xenon early this year I was intrigued. I was in the mood for another sci-fi epic in musical form since these guys definitely had something interesting going on in that last album. What I discovered was a definite improvement over Empyrean in many ways. The epic theatrical setting I was looking for in Empyrean is much more apparent here and I definitely had way more fun with this album.

Right from the start of the guitar playing, I could tell two very important flaws have been fixed since the last album. First, the mix isn't ass. I know Empyrean was re-mixed but I listened to that and the re-mix didn't help; but here on Xenon, everything is so crisp and clear with the instruments but especially the guitars. Speaking of which, the second major improvement is the added variety in the guitar work. Most of Empyrean's guitars were spent chugging or djenting and for the most part weren't very interesting to follow, but now they've got a more straightforward industrial feel to them with sounding like they landed somewhere between Sybreed and Strapping Young Lad. In other words, this album's guitars are what Empyrean's guitar tracks should have sounded like. All in all, Xenon is much more well executed than Empyrean so much that even though it's actually a few seconds longer than that album, it feels shorter because it's much more enjoyable to go through.

The symphonic programming is still omnipresent, but this time it melds better with the rest of the music since it's not the sole thing pushing the music forward anymore. The minute spanning piano/choir build up is a lot quieter than "Aporia" on the previous album but nonetheless provides some ambient prelude to the interstellar warfare that begins almost abruptly at the first minute mark. Imagine the opening theme for Halo starting off an album; that's what the type of mood being set here. Then throughout the rest of the album, it's this sort of Two Steps From Hell symphony thrown alongside the metal music. It certainly makes the title track much more epic sounding especially on the awesome chorus in that song. There's a couple of times that where the band opted for some more electronic elements too, most notably on "Zoticus" which ended up being one of the highlights of this album.

One thing I did notice about the overall atmosphere in the tracks is that the heroic tone present on tracks like "Interregnum", "Imperialus", "Anathema", "Empyrean" and "Infineon" on the last album is largely absent here. The overall tone on this album seems a lot more foreboding with the noteworthy exception being the more upbeat "Zoticus".

There are a few more pressing downsides. David Holch's vocals sound pretty good, particularly his harsh vox, but this time around there's more apparent use of auto-tune and other modulative fuckery done with his clean verses. There's quite a few instances of his voice being intentionally chopped up by the mixing and it does get a little grating, especially since this was less obvious in Mechina's past work. Furthermore, while I did find Xenon easier to go through than Empyrean, it does seem to lose energy towards the end. "Erebus" and "Amytas" are weak tracks to end the album on especially since they sort of blend together. It certainly doesn't help that the album starts with its best track either, the title track. Setting the high water mark early tends to have an effect on the rest of the album. This whole album's span can be compared to that of a dying star, first expanding into a red giant before collapsing into a white dwarf. Though there still is some shining light at the end of the white dwarf stage which here is in the form of the album's true closer the tranquil "Actaeon" which revisits the piano piece from the beginning of the album.

So there's a few things Mechina still need to tighten up, but they've definitely have improved. Xenon, while far from perfect, is the band's most rewarding listening experience to date. Definitely worth checking out for those interested in symphonic metal with an industrial twist. I myself am still intrigued by what this band can offer and await more of their material.


MECHINA Empyrean

Album · 2013 · Symphonic Metal
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(Originally posted to Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives;

I'll admit that I find myself drawn to metal music with an epic atmosphere even if it ends up sounding corny and theatrical, which admittedly is quite often. Like all other music though, there's a good and a bad way to go through an idea. Today, we have Empyrean, the latest symphonic metal album from Mechina of Illinois as an example of a great concept of epicness with mediocre execution.

Indeed, Empyrean takes a theatrical approach to the epic sound. Its futuristic themes and elements make it sound like it was written for a sci-fi action anime. The most clear sounding instrument here is the symphony mimicking program; in fact, the majority of the sound you'll hear from this album is symphony. Even after the guitars and drums on a song cease playing, the symphony instruments will keep playing and will play into the next song making all the tracks kinda mold together into a single piece of music.

While the symphony sounds nice and clear and turn out to be pretty enjoyable for the most part, the guitars and drums on the album sound really abrasive, just poorly produced. In contrast to the symphony, the metal instruments sound out of place. The guitars in particular sound really weak. Even if they sounded better in the mix, the riffs themselves for the most part sound uninspired and boring. There's no leads and the riffs are largely comprised of chugging. There's only a handful of catchy moments as far as the guitars go such as the bridge on "Infineon". The guitars were probably thrown in the back to make the symphonies have more presence, and doing so really brings this album down.

Lastly, there's the clean and harsh vocals. The harsh vocals aren't anything special, but I do find the higher ranged clean vocals enjoyable as much as the next closet Blood Stain Child fan. They tie back in to the epic yet theatrical aspect of this album when the vocalist tries to sound like a power metal singer and he goes...

"Send your cries to a vacant sky Shrouded in darkness, I stand Pleading for the light to shine again"

...among other things. And as you can see, the lyrics are cheesy as well but not really in enough of a way to disrupt the album. They were going for some humanity in space science fiction; while not incredibly unlikable, they weren't very interesting either. It's not a story I'm going to be remembering.

There is some fun to be had with Empyrean, but it does get old fast. There were definitely good ideas on this album that could have been executed better; but "Anathema", "Eleptheria", and "Infineon" are the most memorable here with nothing much to write home about otherwise. It's worth listening to once or twice, but it's not worth keeping.


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