Maybe it sounds like heresy, but Mechina from times of male vocal was loved by me far far more than the current Mechina, with a female vocal. And it's not about misogyny, no. But the band has lost something important for me when the vocals became all female. It sounded different. When there were both vocals, think back to the same "Xenon" days, the band sounded more interesting. IMHO.
Not heretical at all, my favorite albums are Empyrean, Xenon and Conqueror by far. I like Mel Rose's vocals too, but I think the biggest problem is how the more recent albums do vocal melodies. The hooks aren't as catchy and epic vocal parts like in Anathema are mostly gone.
Agreed. Somehow the most particular melodies in Mechina's songs were written along with man's back-vocal. Mel Rose has a pretty voice, but Mechina has lost some drive when all the vocals became purely female.
Also, though I do like newer stuff, I am starting to miss the industrial/electronic effects they once had. Hope we get some of that, more of Dave's clean vocals, & a better guitar sound on the next one!
Enjoyed the new album Telesterion. Aside from the singles, I did not like it much at all after the 1st listen. However, after the 2nd & 3rd listens, tracks like "Gene Heresy", "The Allodynia Lance", & "Homeworld Salient" have really grown on me. Couldn't get into the title track, and "The Archivarius Chaos Ritual" was probably the most forgettable track with Mel Rose they've done. The mix was OK, guitars & vocals were a little quiet, especially Dave's clean vocals. Really liked that they finally brought Dave & Mel together at last, though there might've been a bit too much Mel on this album. Overall, it's not on par with their classics like Progenitor, Xenon, & Empyrean -- but it's a solid edition to their discography.
New album is more of the same. Some things are great and totally floor me such as The Allodynia Lance, but other things as usual annoy me such as the overdependance on the huge and unchanging 3-4 same note symphonics on top of everything, the lack of electronics, the muddy mix which buries the potentially good riffs and Dave's clean vocals beneath everything. I think after As Embers... Joe wrote himself into a corner that he cannot escape out of anymore. This album could have been on the compendium and people would have barely noticed because it's composed with the same mindset: huge and bland orchestrations without interesting melodies using the ever same notes and buried riffs that mostly just plod along to a rather simple beat. And as much as I love Mel, her presence is too dominating. I liked it when one or two songs featured her, which made them special but this way the novelty wore off and sidelines Dave's clean vocals which I usually prefer. Xenon still reigns supreme for me.
"Xenon" is also my favourite because its mix had an almost perfect guitars-orchestration-balance and their songwriting's at its peak on this one. Plus I'd prefer the original version over the Compendium-version anytime.
Mixed feelings for Telesterion. I do love the sound of it, musical direction and overall arrangements. Finaly we hear male and female vocals in a duo, there's good balance between all of the elements in Mechina's music that fought with each other for dominance for so many years. Hell, even the production is quite good and balanced, with the exception of rather weak drum sound (again). And yet, the one thing that always worked in Mechina, the melodies and leads, just feels gone. It may be that they tried to go with more complex vocals arrangements than usual, but there was one thing that the album needed for perfection and it was always abundant but now somehow I can't remember a single chorus, a single melody, a single lead, nothing. Probably the most competent Mechina album yet but somehow doesn't have that spark that made me love the previous ones despite their production issues and chaotic direction.
To clarify: I couldn't really get into "As Embers Turn To Dust" either and I assume that this is strongly connected to the increasing, almost wasteful use of orchestration and deteriorating production/mixing/mastering value as a consequence thereof.
I didn't know you like Mechina, Meat_Wolf ;P I, for one, like the guitars on this album, definetly more than on the past few when they were relegated to mostly mindless chugging, but they seemed to have settled on a single arrangement of sorrowful orchestra lead over a FF-style riff and made like 50% of the album to be just that but with slight variations. Plus, all of the vocals sound like they were recorded muffled from behind a wall or something, strange idea. It DOES give the music some breathing room but sounds odd, especialy with growls which sound way too quiet in the mix.
I didn't like it at all after the 1st spin either. But after the 3rd listen or so, all the tracks aside from the title track & The Archivarius Chaos Ritual have grown on me. It's definitely their least "catchy" album, but a solid edition to their discography.
Dunno lads, the allodynia lance and tyrannos are fantastic. Music is highly subjective though. I think for a lot of people Mechina's move into more, err cinematic sound I guess, over the riff focused one is a divisive point.
"Realm Breaker" is very good. I didn't find it as instantly memorable as "The Synesthesia Signal" or "Cryoshock", but it's still descent. I wish they'd do a couple with tracks with Mel and David's vocals together, that only happened briefly in "Ashes of Old Earth", "To Coexist Is to Surrender", & "The Halcyon Purge".
Realm Breaker is too simplistic for me. It's as if it banks entirely on Mel's voice without any good riffs backing the rest of the song up. The endless droning orchestra is too samey sounding. I hope the rest of the album is much better with the metal being more pronounced again.
I've just started listening to Conqueror [Compendium] and I really don't like it. Conqueror has best production out of all of their albums, but this just sounds awful. It reminds me of those nasty DTS/Dolby audio effects that add "virtual surround" that basically flatten the soundstage as if you were listening to music from another room.
Even the difference between Conqueror and Empyrean is like night and day, the former sounding much more professional and clean.
Ah well, I'm sure others will love it :D
Compendium versions of albums sound really weird to me somehow. Maybe it's because I'm so used to the old versions, but sounds to me that the sound has been changed for the sake of change instead of just improving the mastering. Some songs sound better, but for the most part I prefer the old versions.
The new versions are weird. They added this new orchestral track to every song, ON TOP of the old orchestrations, which were much more memorable. And this new track is LOUD... like headache inducing loud, and drowns out everything else (see "On the Wings of Nefeli" to see what I mean)
On top of that, many little details were removed. Almost all the industrial/electronic effects are gone, along with much of the Gregorian choir parts and, as I mentioned, the original orchestral melodies -- which were much better. It's too bad, probably the first misstep from this project. I'm sure the new album "Telesterion" will be great though! :-)
The storyline isn't finished. Actually, it's only half-way done. According to Joe, the plan is to have at least another 6 albums. Time will tell if that comes to fruition, though I certainly admire his ambition. :-)
I love Mechina and I love "As Embers...". Mel's voice gives me shivers every damn time, so dynamic, so synthetic and alive at the same time, so...cosmic. They get better and better with every new album and I would sell my soul to hear them live