About a week ago saw the demise of Amie Street, and if you read my previous post on the matter, you’ll know that I had numerous difficulties in spending the remaining credit I had. This was resolved, albeit intermittently (i.e. I managed to complete the epic Mount Eerie album, Song Islands vol 2, but since I had no idea what to spend the rest on, I left it at that until I could think of something else. Not the wisest of moves – long story short, this resulted in a desperately timed 11th hour email to customer service to pretty please allow me to complete my last purchase. Their response: keep trying, it should work eventually. Oh, and I received that email after I finally achieved success.
There was little method in the choosing of my final purchase. In a move somewhat contradictory to my previous post, I simply went through all my current Last.fm recommendations, searched for them on Amie Street and grabbed the first one that was available. This turned out to be the 2009 album Disconnected by Greymachine.
Yeah, so I’m a year or more late to the party, but I’d never heard the name before, and no I didn’t listen to any of it beforehand – I was feeling wildly adventurous. (That being said, there were some controlled circumstances. The recommendation was based on my listening to Nadja, The Angelic Process, Pyramids, Jesu and Isis; with those first three being objects of my affection of late).
It was, then, an awesomely pleasant surprise to find an album I would have bought anyway without duress (had I known about it and stuff). I’m certainly not a connoisseur of all things metal and/or associated sub-genres; which essentially means that there’s a limited scope to what appeals to me in the long-term, though I do make intermittent attempts to broaden that scope. I mention this because Disconnected is pretty much everything I look for when I want something on the heavier side of things.
Greymachine is the result of Justin Broadrick (Jesu, Godflesh) and Aaron Turner (Isis) teaming up, along with Diarmuid Dalton (also of Jesu, Godflesh) and Dave Cochrane (Head of David); according to my nimble google fingers, anyway, as – to be honest – I’m only familiar with half of those bands, and certainly not extensively. So that tells you the who of that rather mug-shot looking line-up above, the what, however, is a little outside what I’ve heard from Jesu and Isis thus far, but definitely more appealing to me.
I have to say I’ve never quite understood why Jesu garnered variants of metal as genre descriptors (particularly sludge and doom metal). Maybe I’ve listened to the wrong stuff. Who knows, but to my ears Jesu sounds like cleanly produced pop music compared to Greymachine. It’s noisier, heavier and sludgier by several miles. Perhaps the only aspect that’s common to both, is that in amongst Greymachine’s massively dense wall of doom, sludge, industrial and noise, are some very welcome rhythmic, melodic riffs. For me, it refines the overall sound from being one huge assault on the senses and actually gives me something to get involved with (for lack of a better way of explaining it). Suffice to say, when I listen to something on the heavy side of music, I don’t want to come away feeling steamrolled by it, which seems to be the case quite often when it comes to doom / sludge / drone projects where I’m not given anything to grab onto as it rolls on by. (Or over, as the case may be).
I guess the point that’s really worth making here is that while my knowledge is limited, Greymachine is unlike anything I would have expected from the artists involved if I’d known beforehand who they were. Disconnected does, however, fit in quite nicely with the Angelic Process and Nadja RiYL, so definitely seek it out if you’re keen on the sound of either /or with a sludgier, industrial edge.
Oh, and MetalSucks has a free download of Vultures Descend, posted all the way back in 2008.