Dec 2014 01

Espermachine - Into BronzeEspermachine
Category: Electro / EBM
Album: Into Bronze
Stars: 3
Blurb: While showing improvement in craft and production, this latest effort from Espermachine hardly rises above the conventions of its established genre, making it worth little more than a casual listen.


Upon listening to Espermachine’s second album, Into Bronze, it is clear that the band has learned quite a few things from associating with Tom Shear on the previous outing. Right from the onset of the album’s first track, “Final Hour,” with its harrowing pads building up to a throbbing and mournful dance floor hitter, the stabbing electronics pulsing along with the beats for a downright infectious piece of electro/EBM, Espermachine’s strengths are brought right to the fore. With the clanking breakbeats underscoring a fuzzy, simple yet effective string progression leading into a rapid fire stomper on “Elements,” or the searing synth arpeggios and hi-hat-heavy beats beneath James Esper’s cleanest and most melodic vocal on the album on “Quarantine” reminiscent of VNV Nation, Into Bronze is everything one has come to expect from Espermachine. However, this familiarity does come as a mixed blessing, for while the cleaner production and tighter arrangements come as a welcome development from the act’s first and rather dirty sounding debut (the album later reproduced by Shear to become Dying Life), they do little to hide a sense of Espermachine’s conformity to the conventions of the genre.

Certainly, the more groovy shuffling rhythm of “The Burning Ones” breaks the monotonous four-on-the-floor pulse, and the slight harmonies exhibited by Esper complement the sustained synth chords nicely. As well, the ominously spacey ambience and metallic beats of “Real” offer a nice instrumental respite that demonstrates the band’s willingness to step out of the usual dance floor beat. None of this is to say that the more dance-oriented tracks are anything to sneer at; indeed, tracks like “The Fire” and the title track are perfect for any electro DJ’s set list, hitting hard with pounding percussion and vicious sequences too catchy to not bounce one’s head to. Still, for all of these minor nuances, there is not much to distinguish Espermachine’s approach or sound from the many others in the same field. Not that this is a bad thing in and of itself, and the band deserves credit for honing its skills in crafting some tight electro/EBM, but this is hardly enough to make Into Bronze worth a purchase or more than a casual listen.
Track list:

  1. Final Hour
  2. The Fire
  3. Elements
  4. Bleeding Hands
  5. Real
  6. Quarantine
  7. The Burning Ones
  8. Cuttings
  9. Into Bronze
  10. Mindgames

Espermachine Website
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Espermachine Twitter
Espermachine SoundCloud
Espermachine Bandcamp
Purchase at:
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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