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Spiral - Machine CD (album) cover

MACHINE

Spiral

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.96 | 6 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In the mind of the machine

While Spiral were in between their second and third albums they were apparently approached by a film company impressed with their second album "Citizen." They wanted to make a science fiction film based on the concepts of "Citizen," which dealt with a terrible future society where man is essentially controlled and manipulated. The twist was that they wanted to film the story from the machine's perspective rather than the human one. Spiral were thrilled at the opportunity and dove into it, listening to old 70s and 80s sci-fi soundtracks while trying to create something brand new as well. They succeeded at the task but unfortunately the movie fell through. So "Machine" is the soundtrack of a film which was never made. And yet it is just as cool as an alternate reality to "Citizen."

It opens in a BIG way with the loudest, most thunderous groove, with wicked sounding Trent Reznor style scream-vox piercing through. Dramatic entrance gets the juices flowing! This ends quickly and we move into the atmospheric territory I love, full of great keyboard textures and lots of space. Garbled voices come and go along with strange noises and I imagine all manner of frightening encounters. The title track is pure ominous dread, heavy bass, processed guitar and plodding drum. "Never Alone" finally provides some respite in the form of softer sounds and more hopeful melody. A real favorite is "Do Androids Dream of Lost Citizens" where the music puts you right into the story, you can almost imagine the scenes of the film that could have been made. "Venus Rising" is written and performed by guest violinist Felicia Karas, gracing another Spiral album with beautiful contrast to the frequent heaviness. The string solo comes about two minutes in, breathtaking and beautifully recorded, you can literally feel the abrasion of bow on string as if you were in the room, nice job capturing that. Again the guys finish very strong with "Fails," a gorgeous closer with acoustic guitar and repeating keyboard motif, simulated choir vocals in the background, before the drums and guitar kick in. Bubbly gurgly noises fade out in what is another compelling journey in the Spiral universe.

The second half of the album is particularly strong indeed, with futuristic sci-fi rock of varying intensity. I love how these first three Spiral albums hold my interest, this is a band that sounds so unlike everyone else. Moody and distant, yet down-to-Earth and capable of gripping immediacy. Compelling stories, music, and art in one package. And again, that sense of complete thrill for the project, you can feel how excited the guys are at the prospect of creating. That's rare. Some albums can sound like a musician toiling. These albums sound like an excited writer fighting sleep for days because the chapters are flowing. I've heard the first three albums now and would recommend all.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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