Construcdead - The Grand Machinery
What's the deal with Swedish metal bands and machines? It makes you wonder, since just a mere month after Arch Enemy's Doomsday Machine, it's time for Construcdead and their third album, The Grand Machinery. This band has had none less than three different vocalists during their lifetime, one for each new release. In spite of the rather chaotic rearrangement of band members, Construcdead has actually managed to use this to their advantage.
The release of Violadead last year showed the band trying to move away from the aggressive sound on their debut Repent (2002) and instead opt for a more commercial sound with sing-along friendly choruses. Why else would they enlist the help of Soilwork's leading song writer Peter Wichers to produce the album, as well as inviting Soilwork's front man "Speed" Stridh to sing on one track? However, the release of the Wounded EP earlier this year hinted at a change of style again, and The Grand Machinery definitely confirms that Construcdead have gone back to their roots.
After a short intro, Construcdead immediately surprises the listener with "A Cog In The Machinery". It's a pounding thrash piece, with a bass sound even Korn would have been pleased with, and it also comes with a terrific solo towards the end. Even better is the "The Lustfull", which connects mean verses with a chorus that might as well have been taken straight out of Violadead. The new vocalist Jens Broman impresses, given that he only had a few days to prepare for the recording session. He's a better growler than the previous singer Peter Tuthill, and in the playful "8 Inches Of Flesh" Broman even resembles the almost legendary Peter Dolving (of The Haunted).
One of the disadvantages of the otherwise quite good Violadead was that many of the songs resembled each other too much, but this time around Construcdead seem to have made an effort to give each and every song its own character. Like when an acoustic guitar makes a brief appearance and sheds a temporary ray of light to the otherwise dark and depressing "Treachery". Sometimes the whole thing feels a bit forced, like when Broman growls together with something resembling a group of Gregorian monks on "Pater Noster". And when he talks his way through the lyrics of "The Eye Of Revelation" the whole experiment backfires, sadly.
If something is lacking from The Grand Machinery, it's
a catchy hit-single. "The Lustfull" comes close, but can't
quite match the euphoric choruses of either "Bricks" or "Wounded"
from Violadead. This means that Construcdead will have to wait a bit
longer for the big breakthrough, but they still have all the right to
be proud of The Grand Machinery. It's a tight and well-oiled product,
and even one of the best thrash releases this year.