Maschine - Rubidium

(CD 2013, 59:23, Inside Out Music)

The tracks:
  1- The Fallen(10:15)
  2- Rubidium(08:14)
  3- Cubixstro(08:51)
  4- Invincible(10:00)
  5- Venga(06:20)
  6- Eyes Pt.1(05:52)
  7- Eyes Pt.2(08:35)
  8- Chains(05:49)
  9- Reach Out(06:24)

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Rubidium is the debut album of the British band Maschine. The name of the band is a contraction of the last names of Luke Machin (guitars, vocals) and Daniel Mash (bass, vocals). Both musicians have been involved in The Tangent and Machin also worked with Francis Dunnery (ex-It Bites), Robert Plant (ex-Led Zeppelin) and Jeff Beck. The music on Rubidium doesn't sound British at all; it's a kind of mixture of metal, prog metal, prog rock, hard rock, jazz and even blues rock. The bands that crossed my mind while listening to the album were Pain Of Salvation, Pure Reason Revolution and Sky Architect.

On the one hand these songs are complex, but on the other rather accessible. Take for instance the classic hard rock song Venga, although I don't really appreciate the screaming, grunting vocals. Eyes, part 1 and part 2 are instrumental tracks containing classical piano playing, acoustic guitar parts, breathtaking keyboards and howling guitar solos in the end. Invincible is a rather jazzy song featuring a flute and a nice long guitar solo by Luke Machin. The voice of singer Georgia Lewis, who plays the keyboards as well, really adds something to the title song.

I think the best track of Rubidium is the complex opening piece called The Fallen, in which you can enjoy long instrumental passages with great guitar solos from Luke Machin. Well, this debut album from Maschine is a great one. Listen and enjoy! I think we will hear more from these musicians in the near future.

***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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