Jun 9, 2012

The Machine – Calmer Than You Are ...

Yay, a Dutch (Rotterdam, Holland) stoner release for me to review on Doommantia. Calmer Than You Are is the third album of the Dutch trio The Machine. The Machine was born on 2007. The first names that come to mind when listening to The Machine are Kyuss, QOTSA and Colour Haze. This is straight heavy rock as it is supposed to be: raw, fun, energetic, not too complicated and very awesome.

Opener Moonward opens up with a cool deserty Kyuss vibe and after three minutes all hell breaks loose, just like in your favorite Kyuss tracks. The whole atmosphere on this track, Moonward, is heavy and mellow. What can I say, it’s a killer riff.  Second track Scooch has a nervous, almost ‘alternative rock’ beginning, but then it develops into this QOTSA-like riff. With all the name-dropping you may get the impression that this band only mimics the sound of said great acts, but that is not true. Better to do something totally awesome in the vein of the masters of doom reality (like Orchid follows in the footsteps of Sabbath) than to make a lame album trying to be original or something. Grain reminds me of the great laid-back sounds of a lot of Man’s Ruin releases back in the day. When doom was dissimilar to stoner: two distinct niches that seem to have been coming closer to each other in the last decade. The vocals are kind of under the radar, and they accompany the tracks very well I must say.  The Fourth one, called D.O.G., has maybe the coolest riff so far. In the middle you’ll find another Brant Bjork-like mellow interlude which forms a nice contract of course with all the heavy riffing present on this album.

Sphere (or Kneiter) is riffian mayhem at its best. Kneiter is a typically old school Dutch world that is often used to designate a very stoned state of mind. This track sounds pretty stoned all right. The track is pretty speedy but it develops into this stoned interlude after approximately four minutes. Nice!  5 & 4 is one track away from the finish, and I think that’s a shame. The album lasts a good 45 minutes but it feels a lot shorter. What can I say? Up to this point, you pretty much get the picture: this is a great album and you should buy it.  Closer Repose is a fitting end for one hell of an album. This track is nice QOTSA-like, even the voice sounds a little bit like Josh’s.....9/10.

Calmer Than You Are is out on the German quality label Elektrohash Records. They have their own channel on youtube: HERE.

Words: Sandrijn van den Oever

The Machine | Official Website
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