This is the debut album from US progressive rock band Moon Machine.
I was initially attracted to this album by the evocative album art, and the suggestion that it should appeal to fans of Porcupine Tree, Devin Townsend, Opeth, Alcest, Anathema, and Tool. Sold. Of course, there’s always the danger of being disappointed, but thankfully Moon Machine lived up to its promise.
Moon Machine take the listener on an inventive journey into progressive rock across 43 minutes. Along the way the band visit a variety of different musical landscapes, incorporating elements of post-rock and metal into their sound, along with snippets of other styles. At various times, keyboards and a range of other instruments, sounds, and orchestration all expand on the core music’s foundation, adding to the album’s appeal. The end result is a diverse listen from a talented band that clearly know their art, and how to make the most of it.
The songs are well-crafted and mix old and new influences adroitly. As well as the act mentioned above, I can also hear parts of bands like King Crimson, Cave In, Radiohead, and Muse in Moon Machine’s sound.
The band use their influences well to create songs that are engaging and potent. Each of the tracks has its own personality, and provides something different for the listener to focus on. Be it a spacey keyboard part, a hard rocking riff, a richly atmospheric section, a lone piano intro, or any number of other musical ideas, these songs are well-realised and very enjoyable. There are some very catchy and memorable parts strewn across these songs, and many good ideas showcased delivered upon.
The vocalist has a strong voice, capable of soft emotion or a powerful soaring chorus. He infuses his performance with enough character to establish and sustain a good presence, but not so much as to become flamboyant or distracting.
Moon Machine is a very good album. If you’re a fan of progressive music that’s well-written, well-performed, and textured with multifaceted interest and a good deal of emotive content, then I greatly recommend this record.
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