Well done to Season Of Mist for picking up this home grown group whose career has always been intriguing to say the least. I first encountered these filthy French fucks around their debut album ‘Login:SataN’ 2003 which I described as dirty black metal mixed with a humongous electronic assault. I have caughtSt Vincentwho also is now vocalist for Vorkreist and his grim junkie troops live several times and they did a good job of marrying the styles on stage. However I found 2006 album ‘SolarKult’ far too long and excessive for its own good and did not like the direction the group had gone into particularly. Somehow I missed the follow up T/ME 2010 which was released as a double with Abigor and that brings me smack up to date wondering if I was going to be loving or loathing ‘Machination.’
Luckily there is little in the way of mucking about here as ‘TridenT’ (yep we get the lettering it’s SaTanic) literally blasts in on a bed of gabba etched beats that could not be possibly played by a human. The industrial feel is at the forefront here and it’s intense and furious. Samples perpetuate the album and so do cries of “Satan,” Lucifer” and “666” so if you are not a walker of the left hand path you probably either want to avoid this or tackle it with a certain sense of humour, although this is incredibly serious stuff be warned. NeutroN ShivA [Sun, Walk with Me!] has some nice drum and bass beats before booming in and going all apocalypse rave on us, bad drugs and foaming at the mouth as you slump to the floor are the way this one should be handled if you ever catch it at some sort of club setting, not that we advocate such actions of course. There are robotic vocal clamours and militant beats flowing through this, somewhat loosely delivered but always heavy as hell itself. Foot off the pedal ‘Neo.Black.Magic’ stomps slowly and snakelike as it lets the melody of the chugging guitar and bass flourish to the surface with a thick coating of crust on it.
I feel as if something has been learned as the album is a much tighter ten track 45 minute affair and it does not have time to get stale. Themes may not have changed since early on in their career and listening to ‘Antichrist Ex Machina’ with its warped maudlin tones I am again reminded of the movie Evilspeak as this really is like a musical tribute to the classic video nasty. At times there is a Blut Aus Nord meets Godflesh lurch about things which particularly sticks out on ‘Order of the Baphomet.’ At others such as with the ‘All Seeing Eye’ there is no escape from the massive BPM armoury fired out by the drum machine. The end is left for samples and mechanical sound to wrap things up but it works pretty well considering the intense overall nature of the album.
So a solid album and if you like a filthy sounding marriage of industrialised black metal you should certainly check this out and keep your fingers crossed Blacklodge hit the road and bring it to a venue near you.
(7/10 Pete Woods)