There are times on One Machine’s second album when the sheer sonic overload is dynamically convincing.
You can appreciate on a thrusting thrash-style track like New Motive Power just what former Nevermore/Testament/Vicious Rumors guitarist Steve Smyth is aiming to achieve. There’s also a momentum behind the bubbling mid-paced heaviness of Ashes In The Sky.
However, there are also times when a miserable torpor settles. This is obvious on The Grand Design and Born From This Hate, both of which come across as rejected songs from the early days of Vicious Rumors. These blips, though, pale when you hear the title track. This is where all the elements come together, as Chris Hawkins’ vocals soar and kick, while Smyth and Jamie Hunt duel on guitar in a manner that brings to mind Nevermore.
The track itself has a speed metal timbre, but also possesses a subtlety. The Final Cull is proof that One Machine are defining their boundaries and sonic shape. It’s a big step forward.