Born of the hate and grit of NYC, this tough-talking, ferocious foursome is breaking all the rules with middle fingers flying. Their first full length album is 2019’s Confidimus in Morte, released via Prosthetic Records. The album title turns America’s monetary slogan on its head, placing our trust not in God, but in the one true certainty of life: Death.
Since its inception, this twisted brainchild has embraced all aspects of extreme music. Their eponymous 2016 album rode the wave of groovy and melodic deathcore, but much like that aged whiskey you stole from your pop’s liquor cabinet as a teenager, their sound has since matured. In a time plagued by the monotony of trends, every band must rise to the challenge of originality by painstakingly honing their sound. The Machinist did it with death on the brain.
The universal, if not eerie theme presents itself through Lovecraft-inspired album art and the conjuring of a dead language for the album title itself. Nothing is off limits in their writing process. The diverse background of each member builds a creative foundation to address a range of hard-hitting social issues with relevant-and often enraged-perspective. Lyrics about their arrant rejection of systematic racism, the hypocrisy of religious institutions, or reclaiming one’s life in the in the wake of sexual assault, all find a way to circle back to our inevitably fleeting mortality...In Death We Trust.
The composition of The Machinist’s music is nothing short of headbang worthy. They deliver on all fronts-from catchy riffs to grueling breakdowns punctuated by the gloriously evil solos of madman guitarist, Josh Gomez. Gomez breaks down his growth as a musician and how the album came to light: “Originally in my writing, arrangements weren’t really on my mind because all I wanted to do was make gnarly riffs, and bangin’ grooves! When writing this album, I tried focusing more on the song as whole, with just as much attention to the riffs as well. The first song that was written after the EP was released was ‘The Sound of Shame’, and that was the moment I knew what direction this band would take.”
The vocally dynamic Amanda Gjelaj (pronounced “July”) makes use of her full range like a deadly siren luring you to metal Elysium. Her fiery hardcore vocals, screeching black metal highs, and eerie cleans make the hair on your neck stand up. And if you don’t have hair on your neck, it will cause you to finally hit puberty, grow that hair, and then make it stand up! In the past, Gjelaj focused on sounding as beastly and powerful as possible, but she made a conscious shift to expand her vocal repertoire for Confidimus in Morte. While reflecting on the recording of the album and her vocal approach, she comments, “One word I can say is HARD. Doing a new vocal style has been a complete challenge for me, but I feel like this is what being a musician is all about…challenging yourself! I still put a deathcore vibe into my performances I’m still the same vocalist. I just have more vocal options.”
The Machinist traveled to good ole’ Lancaster, PA where they called upon the guru, Ricky Armellino, to produce and mix the album. The song writing speaks for itself, stepping slightly away from their deathcore roots, this is undoubtedly, and simply put, a metal album. The vocal and guitar melodies will stick in your head like a top 40 pop song (but you’ll actually be happy about it). Expertly mastered by Andreas Magnusson-known for his work with The Black Dahlia Murder and Fit for A King-this album is sonically booming from the first track, “The Sound of Shame. You can hear all of Gjelaj’s range in this one song alone. “No Peace” screams violent and pissed off with a video to match. Gomez accomplished what he set out to do by not only bringing the groove to this track, but also finishes it off by tapping a tasty solo all over the fretboard and listeners’ ear drums. Moreover, the chilling choir and symphonic string section sound like they borrowed Danny Elfman while he was taking a break from whatever he was doing in Tim Burton’s basement. Confidimus in Morte by The Machinist definitely has a little something for everyone, even the snobbiest elitist.
So, let us recap! Breakdowns? Check! Solos? Check! Nasty riffs! Double check! Catchy vocals that you can sing AND scream along to? Uhhh, duh, and CHECK!
The Machinist is:
Steve Ciorciari - drums
Amanda Gjelaj - vocals
Josh Gomez - guitar
Toby Osiene - bass guitar