Still hot from our last review of the restless, noisy Muzaq for Frogs by Moon Musiq, I’m here to throw you into another dimension where giant iron bodies shake the land and threaten life as we know it. Is it literal or maybe allegorical? Maybe it’s both. Anyhow it’s up to you to interpret this journey of an album and it’s up to me to make this blog flourish with music as inspirational as M.E.C.H.A. Pressing PLAY >
Gleaming synth keys announce the ‘Arrival of the Mecha’ by Jaki Herzlich in the most glorious, celebratory way. Vintage -anime opening- style. As the instrumental is galloping through its percussion, the emotion is gradually becoming euphoric and one can only imagine shiny robotic armors hiding the sun as these giant bodies land from above. Mesmerizing and on point. On the other side of the river, ‘Mother & Target’ by Benjamin Gear X gives motherly love that doesn’t feel as warm as one would expect. Lyrics like ‘Mother feeds me, keeps me warm’ manage to sound creepy instead of comforting, spoken over dark-wave and rock-metal melodies. Turning safety into menace is a recipe that usually makes a piece of art at least impactful if not successful and ‘Mother & Target’ is no exception.
And then we have Pigswill making a trippy, super futuristic return in this album with ‘Terminal Militia: First Encounter’. A satisfying heavy beat is following us throughout this piece of glitch magic with obvious dubstep influences. The music gets busier by the minute as layers of electronica come to ‘mess’ things -in a good way- and so we have a second half that feels like a conflict between machines or even a series of crucial errors in a mechanical brain. Among the sharpest, most pleasurable moments in here. ‘Burning Clock’ by Frenzied Destruction takes noise to a whole new level with a four-minute-length sequence of catastrophe. Laser beams and rockets are fired in every direction by aerial and terrestrial units causing ultimate chaos, turning entire cities into piles of cement. The track is so extreme that it cn be both unbearable and orgasmic, depending on the listener’s mood. In the final moments of ‘Burning Clock’, I’m stunned by what seems to be catholic psalms echoing inside a cathedral, maybe placed there to emphasize on the importance of faith in the darkest of times. That alone makes the track much more cinematic than it already was.
Nena None’s ‘Children of War’ makes for a poetic break after the cataclysmic events of its predecessor. The artist goes deep into concepts like the futility of human life -body and soul- and the patterns being recycled through countless generations. Everything is ‘A subject or art and reinterpretation through war’. Food for thought before ‘THE RED HAIRED WITCH’ comes to consume the listener completely through ecstatic, super edgy synths and distorted sounds, bringing literal hell on earth to say the least. NOEYESFIEND stood out on the last Moon Musiq review and still does in this one effortlessly. It’s a real wonder how the artist managed to shine a light on every individual layer in this overloaded mix and make this chaos sound harmonic. An excellent production, skillfully mixed and mastered.
Now, the -really hard to swallow- ‘Gorkatron’ is the definition of ‘experimental’, with nothing to follow, nothing to hang on to. Disparate thoughts and melodies as well as an unsettling approach that can leave the listener lost inside this uncertainty of a track. It’s maybe amongst Pigswill’s most lawless moments and same goes for the following ‘From The Sky’ by NOEYESFIEND. If anxiety had a face, this would be it. Neurotic percussion, stressful kicks and keys and an unnerving overall attitude. It seems like the second half of this album is intentionally challenging, almost uncomfortable at times. The closing tracks ‘sound of a space station plummeting to the surface of barren earth’ and ‘The Night before the Day After Gaea’s Glassing’ are proof of the previous statement. Even the most hardcore fans of experimental might have a hard time keeping up with the conceptualism represented by the last couple of tracks for they make the peak of M.E.C.H.A.S’s mountain, not for everyone to reach it.
In the end, M.E.C.H.A leaves me with mixed feelings. From the cover art to the highlights of the album, this collection of tracks is undeniably an ode to robots, electronica and apocalyptic scenarios. The music is so cinematic that it feels as real events being documented in the heart of a war between robots and for that, M.E.C.H.A is a success. However, personally speaking, there were moments that felt a bit gratuitous, meaning that the experience might even sound cleaner, more comprehensive without them. Either way there’s too much love and effort into this body of work to stay cranky and the Sanctum is only glad to have come across Moon Musiq for every single album has been a wormhole to worlds untrodden. And that’s more than enough to satisfy our craving for fantasy, inspiration and escapism! Until Next Time!
Listen to M.E.C.H.A here: