Review: Blind Guardian “The God Machine” [Nuclear Blast]

Review: Blind Guardian “The God Machine” [Nuclear Blast]

- in Reviews

This is a strange metal epic, with catchy power metal, witches and cults, and a delicious dark undertone.

We’re sure of that with the first track, “Deliver Us From Evil”, which begins with a dialogue about witch hunts (this is becoming a recurring theme in the albums I review, but I won’t complain about it), before becoming a rather bombastic power metal number with a catchy “Deliver us from evil!” chorus, a nice solo and somewhat dark verses delivered in a strangely raspy voice. There’s something about that track, that indicates this album won’t be like just any other power metal album.

The power metal with a dark undertone continues with “Damnation” and its haunting singing in the intro, sinister riff and raspy, angry verses and call-and-response chorus. The third track, “Secrets of the American Gods”, is the same but more, with a haunting singing intro and 7 minutes of epic power metal about fanaticism and the “American Gods” novel/series, or maybe about religion in American society. It’s the kind of album that tells stories, sometimes clearly and other times, just vaguely enough to let us imagine things and draw our own conclusions from it.

But this album also has some infectious energy, and goes all the way, like in the wild, super-heavy riffs of “Violent Shadows” and its raspy, high and loud vocals ending with a loud scream. This one is the ultimate headbanger on the album. The second best of those would be “Architects of Doom” and its eerie beginning followed by fast, thrashy verses and a crazy solo. “Blood of the Elves” is a fantasy-themed track with big, loud and raspy verses, choruses sung by the entire band and a great solo. It feels not epic, and not just because of its fantasy references.

By contrast, “Life Beyond the Spheres” is somewhat more melodic, with a few industrial sounds, slower but catchy riffs, and an incredible vocal performance, with rasp, high notes and choirs. Another mellow track is “Let it Be No More”, a ballad with somewhat more energetic choruses sung by the entire band (power metal’s tried and true trick to make a chorus absolutely irresistible). It’s a nice power ballad, but not as remarkable as the rest of the album. And finally, “Destiny” makes an interesting conclusion to the album, with its interesting distorted guitar work and increasingly fast rhythm, increasingly big and epic feel and call-and-response vocals.

The God Machine is the kind of album you won’t forget. Its themes of cults and other fantasy adventures, as well as its carefully crafted dark atmospheres and irresistibly catchy melodies give it a sound of its own, a very fascinating and gripping one. It also has the best qualities of power metal: a wild, big and epic, going all the way and never holding back feel. It’s really fun to listen to, and has some really interesting and well-made music to carry all of its fantasy adventures. If you want a good power metal album, with a sound of its own and some really fun songs, this one has it all.

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