Album Review: We the Machine - 'Dissenter'

22 September 2013 | 9:02 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Less melody, more heavy.

The world is cluttered with cruddy post-hardcore and metalcore bands. In just about every local town in most western countries, you can find one. They play the same breakdown and use the same false chord screams. Same chord structure with some synth added for an aesthetic appeal. This is sounding familiar right? Sure, you get the occasional breakout band that just gets it right (We Came as Romans, Memphis May Fire) but sadly, We the Machine are no exception to the rule. 

Is it bad though? Well, yes and no. We the Machine have got some got some very good parts and some bad parts like every band. With ‘Dissenter’ is seems to be a bout fifty-fifty either way.

The heavy sections are solid. They are fast, in your face and well… heavy! The screams aren’t all that exceptional but they do just fine for the genre. These parts can get a bit too breakdown-heavy at times, but there is enough variation for this not to be a problem. Sections like these are paced very nicely like on ‘IV' and ‘Bent in the Undergrowth’. They don’t drag on and keep the songs flowing.

However, the main problem lies in every part that is clean sung. It is… we're not going to be around the bush, boring. There seems to be almost no variation in the melody lines and they all sound the same. This gets very tedious and listeners will find themselves edging for the screams to come back in. 

Another apparent con is song length. For heaven’s sake, when will metalcore bands realise that songs in this genre do not need to go for four and half a minutes. This is an area of music that can be very repetitive and unless you are going to throw in solos and interludes like August Burns Red or just not let up the heaviness like For the Fallen Dreams, best leave the songs at three minutes. Here every track just drags out. If you cut the clean singing, kept the tempo and beat up, you’d have much shorter and ruthless songs; which sadly these aren’t.

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All in all, if We the Machine were a straight hardcore band with no clean singing or synth, you'd be more inclined to buy all their merchandise in one go. The heaviness of this album is done well. It will make for some great energy live. However, the melody drags everything down. It creates this dull and stale atmosphere around the songs, which cloud over the good bits. This band has potential, you can see it in there. Like a lot of bands, the band needs to find the balance of what works well because this balance didn’t suit.

  1.  Hold the Line
  2. An Effort to Breathe
  3. Bent in the Undergrowth
  4. IV
  5. Mirriors
  6. The Fallen
  7. Give Your Heart a break