Chicago one man assault team Bury the Machines create enough distinct soundscapes in this three track EP to last most bands a lifetime, meaning you as a listener have to keep your wits about you if you’re going to keep a handle on what’s going on. Luckily the music is so enjoyable this is no great hardship, and the rewards are great if your stick with the record.
Bury the Machines is the brainchild of former Yakuza man John E. Bomher, and what a huge baby it is. First track Beneath my Wrath weighs in at a sprawlingly ambitious eleven and a half minutes in length for starters, but such is the musical agility on show you never get the chance to encounter feelings of ennui or restlessness, as can often happen to mere humans once tracks go past the three and a half minute mark. Bury the Machines lurch from vaguely psychedelic post black metal, through clattering industrial tones to stentorian death metal barking and back again over the course of the track, the whole thing punctuated by some nice lead guitar and the sense that this might just be only the tip of the iceberg in terms of creativity and invention.
Those feelings are underlined by second track A Victim’s Tears which, though a little more accessible is absolutely no less worthy. Monolithic, doom-laden power chords crash down by way of introduction, Bomher adding his tortured howl to the mix to further tighten the screws; the raw power leeches away mid song to set up an almost gothic atmosphere, with Type O Negative at their most primitive fleetingly darting across your imagination as the song cranks itself up again, Bomher mutating his voice to an icy, declamatory bellow as the intensity rises. This is seriously exciting stuff, but Bury the Machines aren’t interested in taking the easy route so third track Waterweapon completely dismantles the momentum built up by A Victim’s Tears, going right back to the beginning with whispered, barely audible voices and muted, simple instrumental accompaniment.
It’s not long before the power returns, however, with some truly excellent riffage emerging about a quarter of the way through the track’s nine minute plus duration. Bomher’s vocals are ably used as an extra instrument here, raging against the sheer power being unleashed elsewhere in defiant and compelling manner. Strange, unearthly melodies are somehow wrung out of this maelstrom, before a triumphantly exuberant guitar solo erupts to dominate the song’s midsection; Bury the Machines then embark the track’s slow, gut-wrenching decay over it’s final four minutes, the end inevitable but never less than enthralling or surprising.
John E. Bomher has created a truly bombastic and impressive half hour of music with Wicked Covenant, and any fans of heavy music of all descriptions will be sure to take something away from it. Very exciting stuff indeed…
Wicked Covenant will be released on June 9th by Midnite Collective