Into the Pit: 060: Machines – Live at The Boardwalk Sheffield – 13-April 2008

It is now over three years since a friend first suggested I go see this band live, and it has been interesting to see their development over this time. They were an impressive live band three years hence, and they are still one now. In just thirty-five minutes they played an intricately constructed set that seemed to drift in and out of a number of genres.


The Boardwalk, Sheffield
13 April 2008

The first and primary reference point is still Tool, although other influences are clear and present too. Particularly the tech metal of Meshuggah, mainly with the staggering technical ability of all four of the band members – tracks twist and turn into new shapes constantly, apparently without any missed notes or errors to be seen anywhere. Some of the longer, rambling instrumental pieces bring to mind various post-rock bands in their soothing, relaxed state, too.

Of the songs played, the gradual, slow burn of The Embrace was probably the pick of the set – especially it’s staggering freakout as the track ends – going from a melodic ballad, almost, to tech-metal leviathan in one jaw-dropping step. The bruising closer The Colony was almost as impressive, and as it juddered to a close you got the impression that trashing the stage could perhaps be an option, but restraint was exercised.

And that restraint is possibly the ace-in-the-hand that this band have. Rather than going all-out with their metal assault, it is made even more powerful by the restraint that they use, drawing out passages as the band visibly get lost in what they are playing. Lyrics are few in number, lead singer Rory clearly happier to let the music do the talking, but they are no less enthralling for it.

They have an EP due in June, and it really can’t come soon enough. This band have seemingly remained under the radar to many over the past few years, and it is high time that they got the attention they deserve. They are more than likely the most talented local band we have, and a little more attention may well help them aim a little higher.

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