Ape Machine [USA]
Mangled by the Machine
I never thought that I could enjoy a band that call themselves Ape Machine, but the music on Mangled by the Machine certainly displays the whole range of influences that the band boasts on their profile, with the sound of the early days of hard rock and heavy metal fused with a modern touch and sound.
Gun You Down gives off a rather progressive vibe with the unique rhythm that the band goes at, but as soon as vocalist Caleb comes in, the old school vibe is immediately rather prominent, and soon enough the band quickly goes into a stoner rock/metal segment, with the listener finding himself bobbing his head along to the rather groovy and somewhat psychedelic feel that the band presents, reminding one of bands like The Sword and to a smaller extent, bands like Church of Misery on the heavier segments on the album. The heavy presence of the bass of Brian, along with the riffs that are unleashed by Ian at times bring doom pioneers Black Sabbath to mind, though obviously things here are much more modern sounding.
The lead guitars of Ian are psychedelic as hell, and reek of heavy blues influences, sure to please fans of old school rock and roll. There are even some synths and hammond organs that could be spotted on the album like on Every Body Bleeds, giving a nice 60s/70s psychedelic rock feel of Deep Purple and the likes. And this definitely works well with that Southern rock vibe with the usage of instruments such as the harmonica.
This being a concept album, all the songs are linked from the start to the end, and the listener is presented to a continuous 40-odd minute of non-stop pleasure. This is certainly one of the key highlights of the album, with the band displaying their songwriting ability in seamlessly fusing the songs together to a coherent listening experience, expertly steering and directing the moods and emotions of the listener as each track jumps into the next.
There is a nice variety of different styles that Ape Machine has put into Mangled by the Machine, and the experience is made all the more memorable with the band cleverly making it feel like a one-track listening experience.