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Album Review: Night Machine – Themes Of The Dead

Night Machine is another synthwave project reeling in the thrilling aspects as well as the throwback touch, and Themes Of The Dead is the title of the upcoming full length release.  For the most part, each track resonates with a different character, or creature if you will, mostly based around monsters. While there are harder moments, this isn’t really a metal oriented record, and may be tougher to dig for the heavy music goers, but for a more soothing yet spooky seekers, this will be right up your alley.

Rather focusing on intensity and explosions of terror, it has more of a TV theme energy, and it always brings me back to the music used on Stranger Things.  For those unfamiliar, it’s drenched in ‘80s stylistics, with an uneasy feeling, but remains calm for the majority of it. Every track does have a different feel to it and you can tell when they change due to mood shifts, but they all contain a similar bottom feature, and that’s the rhythmic patterns.  For the most part, you’ll find either a faster section dominating the higher keys to start us off, and lower slower notes will ooze their way in. Or, the exact opposite will happen. As far as strong melody or peaking moments, it’s very seldom. Essentially it contains the same attitude across the board but shuffles around the suspense.

When all is said and done, Themes Of The Dead winds up feeling rather empty, with few moments that really break apart from the rest in an exceptional manner.  As mentioned earlier, it would be great for the background, and could make great music for your Halloween party, but it’s very difficult to get lost in it. Things that help this are the fact that it isn’t overly long, and there’s still a fair amount of energy.  It’s also hard to make outstanding music that drives from one person and one instrument, so there’s definitely some slack to be given there. Either way, the music itself is still well constructed, just overall not the biggest attention grabber. Worth a listen for sure.  Unfortunately, it just misses the cut for Halloween, because it’s set to hit the scene on November 1, 2018.

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