Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Death Mechanism - Twenty First Century (2013)

Growing up listening to 80’s thrash metal was a gift. Bands like Sepultura and Dark Angel really pushed the boundaries of what thrash bands could achieve. Twenty odd years later, older bands are still putting out great, but not mind-blowing, albums. These older bands, however, are making room for new comers such as Havok and Warbringer. While both bands are very good at sounding old-school, they lack the heart and soul of the bands they are trying to emulate. What the genre needs is a band that is strictly in-your-face, unapologetic and more old-school than old-school. Ladies and gentleman, such a band has finally arrived. On “Twenty-First Century,” Death Mechanism delivers something so fierce and unrelenting, it demolishes their first two albums. You’d also swear that it’s from the 80’s. Welcome back to the Golden Age of thrash.

One notable difference from the rest of their work is that the production value is much better.  “Human Error .. Global Terror” and “Mass Slavery” were good, but very muddy sounding. Produced and mixed by Coroner’s Tommy Vetterli, this album is crisp and very full sounding. Pozza’s vocals have never sounded more demonic and his guitar playing hasn’t been this tight. Manu’s drums are more chaotic than they’ve ever been and Pedro’s bass is very fulfilling. Each song is played with precision that bands lack nowadays.  Songs like “Monitored Procreation” and “Centuries of Lies” have tempo changes that would make Slayer jealous. They also experiment more on this album than before. “Collapse 2000 A.D.” is a great change of pace and shows that they don’t always have to be blisteringly fast to sound good. Tommy Vetterli’s solo on said song is also great. “Tipping in Front” and “Human Limits” are more groove focused, which changes the pace of the album for a little bit, but then gets right back into it with “Obsolete Cults,” which is probably the best track on the album. “Hidden Legacy” and “Exotropy” are the lowest points on the album. While not bad by any means, they just don’t do anything else but re-tread what the album has already done.

What Death Mechanism have created with “Twenty-First Century” is a time machine that goes back to a time where thrash was loud and vicious. While it isn’t entirely original, they add enough of their own flair to make it stand out. The tempo changes and groove oriented riffs are truly masterful. Sure the album has a few flaws, but what album doesn’t? In all honesty, “Twenty-First Century” is better than anything Havok or Warbringer have done. Death Mechanism keeps getting better with every release and it shows. They put a lot of care and effort into this release. “Twenty-First Century” is an absolute must listen. Keep real thrash alive!


- Brian DuBois

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