After the black metal band Misericordia disbanded back in 2015, guitarist Robert Kail Karlsson formed Godhead Machinery. With one record out, the Swedish band’s follow-up effort Aligned To The Grid is a blackened death onslaught of brutality combined with exceptional songwriting. Certainly nothing easily accessible to normal ears, but this combo allows for a pretty tasty dish of extreme metal.
The blackened elements take the majority of the presence here, using the death metal template for most of the riff writing and building the songs with a blackened aesthetic from there on up. The vocals have that shrieking nature to them, avoiding anything too throaty but carrying a small dose of melody. Both cleaner guitars and distorted ones work very well with this. “Defiant Silence” is laid out perfectly as the softer rhythms and crushing distortion take turns with leading, and it makes for some of the most unique patterns. Not to mention, the blast beat drumming does wonders to add effect, especially with the way they’re toned.
Speaking of the drumming, some of the best moments are when slower chugs are backed by blasting drum beats. Usually, these are followed up with much faster playing thus making them act as build-up. The use of a piano for the more somber moments creates solid transitions, and the fact that there are very well crafted guitar solos are like icing on the cake. “Above A Legion Of Equals” features one of the best ones on the record. The only thing that Aligned To The Grid could do without is the spoken-word parts that are hardly audible behind the music such as in “Call Of The Banner.”
For those that aren’t really into the more extreme genres of metal, I urge you to still give this one a try. There’s a lot of depth to the music and the way it’s produced boosts everything to a great degree. Though it’s certainly for a specific mood and setting, there’s certainly something to be gained from the amounts of intricacy and atypical tactics.
Aligned To The Grid will be released on April 5th, 2019 through Inverse Records.