In some mysterious way lots of Alternative and Post Grunge bands passed by me. This is also about such artists like Tori Amos, Björk and PJ Harvey. To be precise, they didn’t “passed by” – in early 00s I heard some songs because they were in rotation on MTV 24/7, but they didn’t impressed me. From my very young point of view back there, all these songs had a huge lack of heavy sound. My logic was simple: if you sing about some strong emotions, your music should be heavy. But this wasn’t meant to happen: nobody will touch something that works well and brings money. But in 2018 I found exactly what I looked for: harsh sound, Metal riffs and emotional female vocal. This is 69 Chambers.
69 Chambers was formed by journalist Nina Vetterli-Treml. In 2009 their debut LP War On Inside was released and three years after the band release their second album Torque. 69 Chambers goes to a huge tour, shares stage with Nightwish, performs at Hellfest and then takes a break for long five years. Nina focuses on her journalist work while her husband, guitarist Tommy Vetterli resurrected his band Coroner. But in 2017 69 Chambers went to studio and started to work on their third album Machine. Today the band’s line-up is: Nina Vetterli-Treml (vocal, bass), Tommy Vetterli (guitars) and Diego Rappacchietti (drums).
Machine contains 11 songs where emotional vocal goes together with heaviness of guitar riffs and drums. Or rather not “goes together”, but is one whole thing.
“Reflexion” is the word that describes this album in a best way. Nina’s vocal can be obedient and disappointed, but in a second it already transmits well-held aggression (“F.Y.L.”) or some cold detachment. Or it can be soothing whisper, telling you that everything will be all right and “nobody gets hurt” (“Quantum Wave”).
With this Machine is a solid album. There is almost Thrash Metal here (“Chemical Poetry”), Groove (“Serpent Of Hypocrisy”) and even some Sludgy notes (“Who Am I”). I’m trying to avoid precise definitions deliberately because when Nina starts to sing, all your efforts for genre definition are going to hell. But you can surely say that it’s 69 Chambers, no mistake.”Métamorphose” could be a great example for this: fast paced song with double pedal, powerful drums and solid guitar riffs, but suddenly comes French vocals. It’s unexpected, like Mylene Farmer sings at some metal fest (that even theoretically sounds better than Metallica with Lady Gaga).
Maybe I’m too pretentious but if Machine will not catch you with nothing – neither by its heaviness, nor by its emotionality and will not cause any feelings, maybe you are tired from music. Or from life.
Machine was released on May, 25 via Massacre Records.