Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Gizmachi - The Imbuing CD Review

While browsing through Gizmachi’s bio, you’ll notice that this release, their debut effort, was produced by Clown, of Slipknot fame. With that in mind, this cd seemed almost doomed from the get go. Slipknot hasn’t been relevant in the metal scene for years now, with their last release being nothing more than a hodge-podge of radio friendly metal and Stone Sour inspired songwriting. Anything attached to Slipknot, even tangentially, seems to have a negative stigma attached to it today, which is somewhat unfortunate because The Imbuing is seriously a monster of a modern metal disc.

Gizmachi have expertly crafted a delicate combination of heavy, straight ahead metal and melodic, emotional metal. More often than not there will be a stronger focus on the brutal, down-tuned song style than there is on the melodic, but the melodically charged passages give many of the songs on this disc a tenderness (yes, the word tenderness was used in a metal review) that separates them from many of their peers who are more concerned with simply being unrelentingly heavy or will throw some melody into their songs simply to appeal to the radio friendly metal crowd.

The best example of Gizmachi’s unique marriage of traditional and radio friendly, melodic metal can be found in the song “Wandering Eyes”. It starts off methodically with a groove laden approach underneath aggressive, yelled vocals. As the song progresses, an undercurrent of backing melodic vocals backs up blistering screams before a melodic approach takes center stage, floating over a friendly, less intense musical backing. Just as quickly, the song returns to jack-hammer riffs accompanied by staccato talked out vocals up until the bridge which consists nicely of a sludgy, thick breakdown. The remainder of the songs sees Gizmachi playing out a combination of the song’s earlier melodic and aggressive moments. All of this happens in a seemingly brief five minutes.

The rest of the cd sees Gizmachi bouncing around between straight out aggression, slow-burn build-ups, and melodically peppered metal. Even though Gizmachi have melodic moments, you shouldn’t think of them as creating melodic metal in the vein of the crap that you hear on rock radio. No, their form of melodic metal involves only a slight softening and smoothing out of the guitars and a melodic vocal approach. Rarely do they ever step into the clichés of radio friendly metal. A few passages come close, but they are rare.

For any metal lover out there who doesn’t mind a little melody here and there, you should really give this disc a try. Brutal yet polished, aggressive yet melodic, and always assaulting your eardrums, Gizmachi are a treat after suffering through the waves of sub par metalcore that’s been dominating the scene as of late.

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