One Machine: The Final Cull

Former Nevermore man starts to find his range

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

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.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021