Mechina - Acheron (2015)Release ID: 5344

Mechina - Acheron (2015) Cover
Shadowdoom9 (Andi) Shadowdoom9 (Andi) / February 13, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

So, where do I begin when describing such an ambitious band? Mechina is known for their series of concept albums and singles with a massive saga covering them all. Think about it like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe combined and played out like Rhapsody of Fire's conceptual sagas. Their 2005 debut The Assembly of Tyrants started off as a one-off story, but their second album Conqueror, released over 5 years later, started turning the story into a saga. The mastermind behind this project, Joe Tiberi can perform digital guitar and construct epic orchestration to flow well with the storyline in a bombastic style of extreme djenty symphonic/cyber metal!

Acheron continues their style in logical creativity. Their ambitious motive was a risk that paid off almost entirely well. Here we have the djent pioneered by Meshuggah, blended with the progressive groove of Xerath, the industrial tendencies of Fear Factory, and the cinematic symphonics of Two Steps From Hell. The rhythms and percussion band together with the riffs and keyboards for a unique combination that sometimes breaks into different territories. And f***ing h*ll, Tiberi's sonic guitar is really what the instrumentation needs as the engine for the machine. It is all in digital construction, and in many strings of the guitar, maybe beyond 8, like 9? 10?! The notes shall devastate and never drone, all in the equality of sound...

"Proprioception" is one of the best ways to open an album. There isn't any technical music, but rather a scene that sounds fresh out of an epic sci-fi movie that builds up and gets you geared up for the action, as a true concept album would. The engines ignite and the spaceship blasts off in "Earth-Born Axiom", an extensive epic in which electronic synths and cinematic orchestra prevails over the heavy djent instrumentation. Tiberi knows how to combine all that with a landscape of sci-fi dystopia that Neurotech can also achieve. "Vanquisher" is another powerful highlight, this one working well separately from the concept as a pre-release single. I don't know if they perform live concerts, but "On the Wings of Nefeli" would certainly be an interesting setlist staple. The female chanting and simple yet epic keyboards and in full prominence while the riffs have their moments, all that could easily fuel up the live crowd.

"The Halcyon Purge" sounds ominous from the name. It has some of the best writing I've heard in the album with emotional diversity. The haunting chorus is sung by Mel Rose, who first appeared in the non-album single "To Coexist is to Surrender" and would become a full-time member in subsequent albums. Absolutely spine-chilling! It's interesting how the shortest non-interlude song has the best lyrical writing. The instrumental "Lethean Waves" has nearly the same length as the previous track, but as cinematic as it is, it's rather pointless and doesn't have much value. That kinda reduces the high quality the album has. Regaining balance is "Ode to the Forgotten Few", though despite Mel Rose's vocals sounding serene, they can be tiring. Nonetheless, kudos to Tiberi for expanding his boundaries with more than just hammering heaviness.

"The Hyperion Threnody" is a massive beast of an almost 10-minute epic that works as the soundtrack to a massive space battle. There's a lot of epic power in both the title and the song that's nothing but true galactic carnage. This extensive track is so interesting and prevails as a glorious highlight. The more obvious interlude "Adrasteia" is another atmospheric track, and it's a bit boring and purposeless as well. All it's good for is being the soundtrack to a video game's main menu. "Invictus Daedalus" goes all-out fast and furious, but a bit of the interest factor has worn off. Closing this interstellar adventure is "The Future Must Be Met", a good outro but nothing worth mentioning.

And just like that, we have a bold ambitious offering with profuse variety. Acheron is a journey through the greatness of combining electronics, symphonics, and metal into one. Tiberi has had great potential that he has fulfilled and has kept his ideas going through more of his works. Although I probably would've enjoyed this more when I still into highly epic melodic styles of metal, and the second half could've been improved, Acheron has memorable moments that shall last through time, space, and reality....

Favorites: "Earth-Born Axiom", "Vanquisher", "On the Wings of Nefeli", "The Halcyon Purge", "The Hyperion Threnody"


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The Guardians
The Infinite

Symphonic Metal (conventional)

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