Luke Reviews: A Dying Machine by Tremonti – 2018 release

Hi there and welcome back to Luke Reviews!

Hope you’ve had a great week, for this edition I will be looking at “A Dying Machine” by Tremonti.

 

Tremonti were formed in 2011 by vocalist and lead guitarist Mark Tremonti, who is also the guitarist of Alter Bridge and formerly Creed. They have released four studio albums to date.

 

Theme

“A Dying Machine” was released on June 8th 2018, and is the bands first concept album. The album theme is a story set in the near future, where robots have become so advanced that they have started to develop emotions and the self-perceived capability to love. The story centres around a robot that falls in love with a human, who resists her as he does not believe the robot could have feelings for him, and is ultimately killed by the robot through sheer passion.

It is a very interesting theme, and the album story has even been developed into its own novel which is due to be released in the near future.

 

The music

This is a very diverse sounding album. There are some thrash metal inspired tunes such as “The Day When Legions Burn” and “Throw Them To The Lions” but there are also some softer rock ballads, such as “The First The Last”. There are also elements of traditional hard rock, punk rock and even some blues rock.

With so much diversity it is sometimes hard for an album to sound consistent, but this isn’t the case with A Dying Machine.

The songs tell the story from different viewpoints of different characters, it is not just from the perspective of the human and the robot. However, they are not in chronological order, it seems Tremonti were more focused on the ebb and flow of the album rather than telling a story from beginning to end. This may be frustrating for some that like a linear story across a concept album, but for me it makes it more interesting that the story goes off in different directions, and the songs all do sound like they belong in their respective places.

There is a lot of diversity within the songs themselves as well, with hard hitting heavy riffs in the verses followed by catchy anthemic choruses, with some interesting guitar solo’s thrown in too. Mark Tremonti’s vocal performance across the songs is impeccable, I am a massive fan of his voice and it seems to suit the songs very well. What makes me like this album so much is that every single song has its own unique flavour and it is a real pleasure to listen to from start to finish.

 

Now for the sake of impartiality, I have to try and find some negatives, to be honest there really isn’t any major negative thing to say about the album, it is a superb record that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The only minor thing I would say is that the guitars in certain songs at certain points are a little too quiet for my liking, the guitars sound massive for the most part, especially the metal-esque riffs, but sometimes they are drowned out a tiny bit by the power of Mark Tremonti’s vocals (this is me being really picky because I can’t make a review that’s 100% positive, even if I’d like too!)

To conclude, “A Dying Machine” is a brilliant album rich in diversity and awesome riffs. The story itself is incredibly interesting and thought provoking, it made me think of what shape our own futures will take given the advancements of modern day technology, and whether a robot could ever be developed enough to really feel emotions like we do.

Luke’s rating: 9/10
That’s all from me, if you reckon this album might be something you’d like to listen to, there’s a link at the bottom of this page to the album on Spotify and also to the title track on Tremonti’s official YouTube page.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out my other reviews while you’re here, if you haven’t already!

I will be back next week with another album review, which will be a classic album review rather than a 2018 release, so I hope you come back and check it out!

Bye!

 

 

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Luke Reviews: Evolution by Disturbed (New Release – 2018)

Hi all, and welcome to Luke Reviews!

This is my first review on this blog, it is a truly exciting occasion (well, it is for me at least!). So let’s jump right into it…

 

For those that don’t already know, Disturbed¬† are a hard rock/metal band from Chicago, formed in 1994 and have since released 7 studio albums, garnering worldwide acclaim for their powerful and liberating music.

As the name of the new album suggests, Disturbed have ventured into a new arena of sound, incorporating some pop ballads and more prominent electronic-based sounds, as well as making use of their more familiar traditional hard rock/metal template.

Lets look into the album in more detail…

 

Theme

The themes that are touched upon in this album include government, more specifically about the social/political environment in the USA during the present day, battles with addiction and finding the strength to overcome it, and also dealing with loss, referring to a friend of the band Chester Bennington, vocalist of Linkin Park, who tragically died of suicide in 2017.

The music itself

There are 10 tracks on the standard edition of the album, with 6 traditional metal songs that you would expect of a band like Disturbed, and 4 acoustic ballads.

I’d like to start with the positives.

The opening track “Are You Ready”, the first single from this new album, is undoubtedly the highlight of the album. It is what you would consider a classic Disturbed track, with powerful vocals, anthemic guitar riffs and powerful beats.

It’s a really fun catchy track, the riffs are pretty simple, but they are profound and effective in the context of the song. Lyrically it also has its moments, with the line “Don’t let their vision leave you blind” really catching my ear.

There’s one other song I think is worth mentioning here, which is “The Best Ones Lie”, again another one of the singles they released for this album. It is pretty similar to “Are You Ready”, in that it is quite anthemic and has some catchy vocal lines, with David Draiman bringing his unequivocal sass to the proceedings which I quite enjoyed on this specific track. There are also some cool electronic effects used which I believe are used on the guitars, rather than them using synthesizers (not sure so don’t quote me on that!) which gives the song a more industrial feel.

Unfortunately, that is about it for the positives of this album. There are a lot of things that disappointed me.

The acoustic ballads on this album are a far cry from what Disturbed have done before, except for the hugely popular cover of “Sound of Silence” released on the previous album “Immortalized”, this suggests that Disturbed are trying to expand their fan base by adding in more easy-listening elements to their sound. Although I am a big advocate of bands branching out and trying something new in the pursuit of growing as a band, this particular endeavour falls pretty flat.

The acoustic songs aren’t really interesting, with a very basic approach and a distinct lack of energy in both their playing vocally, which is something you wouldn’t say about any of their material on the first six albums. The ballads are also incredibly cheesy, with the track “Watch You Burn” being the most guilty of this, considering how aggressive the song title sounds, the song itself, sounds like something out of a Disney movie. Which is great if it’s on a Disney soundtrack, but not on a metal album!

The best acoustic song out of the four for me is “A Reason To Fight” it has a genuine heartfelt message, but again the song itself for the most part is pretty forgettable. But on the cheese meter, it is nowhere near as bad as the other three!

The other metal tracks on this album just sound like worse versions of the two mentioned before, with the songs having no real ebb and flow and they don’t really get out of first gear.¬† If a song is a journey from A to B, these tracks sound like they got stuck in the mud. It is a shame because there are some decent riffs on the album, but they are not expanded upon which leaves me feeling a little disconsolate.

To conclude, Evolution is a bit of a disappointing listen. You can hear potentially how great it could have been as there are some nice riffs that could be used in better songs. Whilst the move into adding in ballad-like acoustic tracks is commendable, Disturbed don’t really get it quite right on this piece, with the songs being too bland and cheesy to be taken seriously.

Luke’s rating: 5/10

 

That’s all from me, thanks very much for reading all the way through. If I had some cookies, I’d give you one (maybe).

Please let me know what you think of my review and how I could improve it, this is a new venture for me so any constructive feedback is welcome. Also let me know what you think of the album as well, and whether you agree or completely disagree! Remember, nobody is wrong in this game!

Also don’t forget to share with your music-loving friends, family, colleagues, your neighbour, or anyone for that matter, who may be interested in my reviews.

I aim to be doing at least one review a week, so I look forward to seeing you again next week!

Thanks again

Luke