Machinery The Passing

Machinery’s second official album is a well-rounded contemporary metal outing that successfully pulls together melodic breaks and driving rhythms, high speeds and heavy grooves, aggression and restraint. The result is solid but unfortunately more familiar than fresh. Nevermore is a strong point of reference for Machinery, and while the production never bowls you over, there’s often more than a hint of Devin Townsend in the vocal attack. The Passing’s catchy hooks and riffs could easily inspire a whole series of (mostly Swedish) comparisons, ranging from melodic death to prog/power and thrash. The combinations and shifting gears keep Machinery from stagnating at any point on the album but the similarities weaken the band’s sense of individuality. Lost members and new ones added may be part of the reason for Machinery’s lack of a distinct focus, so it will be interesting to see where the future takes them. Until then they’re treading water — like champs but without making much headway. (Regain)