Hark now hear the second record from this heavy-ass Welsh outfit! They may not sound like a choir of angels, but these Swansea slammers bring the riffs for 47 minutes on the follow-up to their 2014 debut Crystalline. And hey, their lead singer’s name is Jimbob, and he used to be in a band called Taint, so I think anybody in the Bible Belt counting on this to be a collection of Christmas hymns might not be too disappointed?
Anyhoo, Machinations starts off with “Fortune Favours the Insane,” which may or may not be another sly nod to those Trump supporters. This song sorta sounds like The Sword on smack, with a couple riffs that would sound at home on the new Mothership record. I really dig the Swansea stomp that starts off just shy of the two-minute mark, before they pick up the pace to a hardcore gallop in the final minute, chucking in one more slow ‘n heavy chorus a la Orange Goblin for good measure. “Disintegrate” is longer, slower ‘n heavier, coming off as a more morose Red Fang with more than a couple tempo changes, throwing in sort of a Sabbathian section before a cracking guitar solo takes us home.
A great, winding bluesy riff begins “Speak in Tongues,” which offers more of a mellow verse that winds up to a thrashing, crashing chorus, bringing back that initial riff for a slight return toward the end. I definitely get a strong COC vibe on tunes like “Son of Pythagoras” or “The Purge,” a nine-minute number that brings the album to an end. These guys are still ‘eavy, still ‘umble in my books!