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(77 min, 'MO')
TRACK LIST: 1. What Have We Become 8:48 2. Stealth 5:43 3. Hacking Humanity 6:15 4. Nothing Is Real 5:56 5. Username & Password 7:33 6. All According to Plan 4:52 7. To Bridge the Void 7:11 8. Weapons of Mass Distraction 7:46 9. Nostalgia 5:27 10. The Bitter Truth 7:15 11. This They Must Never Know 10:15 LINEUP: Eddie Katz - vocals; keyboards; bass Connie D - guitars Laurence Belviso - drums
Prolusion. "Flat Earth Society" is the debut album of MECHANICAL ORGANIC from Australia, although the project's main creative force, Eddie Katz, is no novice by far to the musical scene. In the first half of the '90s he was a member of the Prog-Metal band Vauxdvihl, afterward having headed the pop-rock studio outfit Where Echoes End with whom he produced two CDs, "By the Pricking of My Thumb" (1998) and "My Sweet Grotesque (2001).
Analysis. This 77-minute recording is made up of eleven tracks all of which are vocal-heavy, the first ten all being creations of a fully unified compositionally-stylistic approach which results in a certain sameness of the sound throughout the album. I would never blame Mechanical Organic for the absence of original ideas in their music, but nonetheless most of their "Flat Earth Society" reminds me of a cross between "Redemption" by Braindance (who pioneered the Progressive Dark Wave style) and Eloy's "Destination". The influence of the latter band almost undividedly rules on the album's vocal angle, the aptly titled ninth song, Nostalgia, sounding very much like Jeanne D'Arc from the same "Destination". So, what Mechanical Organic offers the listener on their first brainchild is a rather dark alloy of Progressive Dark Wave (which is both quite dark and heavy already in itself, additionally standing out for its strong electronic component), Space Metal (which in turn is less diverse than that we usually meet in Eloy's work) and what should probably be viewed as straightforward Doom Metal, meaning the guitar riffs aren't notable for any particular diversity, sounding almost maniacally hypnotic. The last track, This They Must Never Know, exceeds 10 minutes in duration, but is musically almost empty; instead it is overloaded with effects, radio voices and the like nonsense.
Conclusion. In all, "Flat Earth Society" is picturesque and, thus, quite attractive music and would've been a very good album if its makers had made their riffing structure more diversified, at least occasionally ventured on genuine instrumental maneuvers and used real drums instead of programmed ones.
VM: February 15, 2006
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