[ALBUM REVIEW] BURY THE MACHINES ‘Wicked Covenant’

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Bury The Machines puts forward a bleak and desolate soundscape steeped in bitter resignation and angst. This is a one-man show, with John E. Bomher as the only performer. This should come both as no surprise because there is a hive mind like the synergy between vocals and instruments and as a reason for a double take because it’s done so well.

Beneath My Wrath” begins as a murky and meandering march that slowly builds into a hellish plodding brew of menace and dark ranting. I found the length of this song to be a bit much. I get the concept of building atmosphere, but this is overboard to the point of irritation. I shouldn’t be listening to the same riff over and over waiting to get to something of substance. This is a shame because atmosphere is something Mr. Bomher does very well and this robs the track of some of its potency.

A Victim’s Tears” is a fair bit more intelligible lyrically, opening with moody riffs and vocals only a step away from spoken word. The rest of the song basically doesn’t deviate from this pattern. For me, this was far more digestible in terms of length. I think this would be a good sample for someone curious about Bury the machines as to what they (he?) play.

Water Weapon” is by far the most melodic track on the EP. Contemplative and slightly melancholic strumming open up the track accompanied by clean vocals. This track builds up to some fairly epic soloing in the middle before dropping back a bit and closing on a comparatively gentler note. This is my top pick of the three and is far more recognisable as conventional metal.

Giving this EP a score seems wrong in a way. There aren’t really any established rules for this particular genre. Although stylistically very different from Meshuggah, Bury The Machines poses the same problem. There’s really no set of rules or established tradition to judge it by, it’s just one man expressing himself the best he can. In short, it’s weird but good. If you like trying new things, I suggest you give it a go.

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