|Review: Deus Ex Machina - I, Human|
Year released: 2009
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: February 22, 2010
Reviewed by: Jason Cominetto
Rated 4/5 (80%) (17 Votes)
Well this was a surprise. I didn't necessarily enjoy Deus Ex Machina's self-titled EP released earlier in 2009, but their full-length actually packs a punch. Admittedly, it did take a few listens to get into, but what at first didn't sound like too much of an enthralling release actually turned out to be a lot better than I had expected.
The first and most noticeable improvement the band made over Deus Ex Machina is the mixing. The instruments on this release seem more evenly spread out, and the guitars and vocals don't sound as "in your face" as they do before. It isn't perfect however, as the drums are definitely way too heavy and at times seem to overpower the other instruments, but this can be overlooked for a good portion of the album.
The songwriting also seems to have taken a turn for the better on this release, with tracks like "I" and "Assent" being arguably the best ones. Even the old ones which I weren't too thrilled about sound good, especially "Replicant," which has really awesome lyrics to complement the really awesome theme of humanoid life forms (see Blade Runner).
So yeah, Deus Ex Machina are great songwriters and musicians, there's no denying that, but I can't necessarily rave about them. Why? Their riffs just aren't always that great. This may not seem to make sense, but give the record a listen and you'll see what I mean. The songs are all meticulously laid out and finely performed, but the actually notes the band plays don't get my blood pumping.
The only other fault of I, Human is the intro track, a predictable and bland movie excerpt (at least that's what it sounds like) slapped under aggravating buzzing, clearly meant to fill space. Other than that the album is good and has an interesting concept, and any fan of Progressive and spacey metal might want to check it out.
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