Maschine - Naturalis

(CD 2016, 69:24, Inside Out Music)

The tracks:
  1- Resistance(11:52)
  2- Night And Day(5:08)
  3- Make Believe(7:10)
  4- Hidden In Plain Sight(7:01)
  5- A New Reality(8:45)
  6- Megacyma(11:46)
Bonus Tracks:
  7- Eyes Part 2 (live in Veruno)(8:55)
  8- Rubidium (live in Veruno)(8:47)

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Naturalis is the second album from Maschine, the progressive rock band from the South Coast of the UK, consisting of Luke Machin (guitars, vocals), Daniel Mashal (bass guitar, vocals), Marie-Eve de Gaultier (keyboards, vocals), Elliot Fuller (guitars) and James Stewart (drums).

Naturalis is the first album on which Gaultier and Stewart (ex-Vader) can be heard and the band recorded six tracks for this album. The songs range from epic and rather experimental to more direct and “shorter” ones with Luke Machin being the main composer. Naturalis is in fact a concept album dealing with mankind and natural events. Resistance is the opening track, a full epic progressive rock “monster” bringing you back to the music of the seventies as it is filled with keyboard layers and majestic guitar riffs a la Led Zeppelin and even some flute passages reminding me of good old Jethro Tull. In Night And Day the female voice of Gaultier shines and adds an extra dimension to the music of Maschine and in this song I hear certain passages that really remind me of the amazing band Anathema. This extraordinary album ends with another epic track called Megacyma (which is the Greek term for tsunami) and that is my favorite track of the album. Megacyma clocks in over eleven minutes and the song is filled with amazing complex twist and turns and especially guitar player Machin proves that he is a top notch guitar picker. It is therefore that he is also in high demand as a guitar player for bands like Karmakanic, The Tangent and Damenek. The making of Naturalis took four years but it was definitely worth the wait and if you liked Rubidium (2013, see review) then you will love this new Maschine album. The album also contains two great live bonus tracks recorded in Veruno, being: Eyes Part 2 and the title track of their debut album.

If you have never heard of this band, shame on you, and run to the nearest store to buy Naturalis.

**** Martien Koolen (edited by Robert James Pashman)

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