Northern Finland's Ravage Machinery return with their third release, the EP called 'The Dystopian Tide'. According to my expectations, there's another half human / half machine on the cover. Music-wise, two previous demo releases did it for me partly, but also left me kind of cold, just like those poor bastards on their cover arts. As the title suggests, this is not a happy trip to future...
...But a bloody heavy one! There has been some line-up changes in the band, and it can be heard. New guitarist Tuomas Valtanen has written two of the songs by himself, and one partly. Second guitarist Simo Pasma has penned one and a half songs. The band's influences now come from North America for a big part, and not anymore from Gothenburg. Surely, there are some Swedish-sounding bits here, too. The band's metal consists largely of thrash metal and death metal, but includes a heavy groove factor. However, it stays on extreme side of things, anyway. And nothing nu here, gladly. 'Thus I Serve' is something like new Testament and Konkhra alloyed, with some Megadeth-esque guitar work (both riffs and solo). They serve anything from stomping tempos to blast beat frenzy. Its guitar work is both violent and technical. This song just rolls over a listener, there is no way stopping it, because it's filled with explosive energy! A magnificent opener. 'Lethal Slavery' does include some Swedish style death metal riffage and atmosphere (I'd say in Unanimated / Edge Of Sanity axis, perhaps), ending up being a very, very tasty song indeed. 'Collapse to Retaliate' is a thrashing groover, and a powerful one at that. One thing that associates these songs is, that they are catchy, memorable, but not in an easy, "poppy" way. I'm glad to say, that somewhat Hypocrisy-esque 'March of the Consumed' continues that trend. Its militaristic march tempo just rolls over a listener like a Chinese tank could have rolled over the "Unknown Rebel" over two decades ago.
'The Dystopian Tide' sounds, as mentioned, heavy, but in an organic way. The only way to sound, heh heh. This sounds modern, although it is easy to hear close to 30 years of metal music history in it, too. The guitars have that Swedish death metal crunch and sturdiness. The rhythm section: Heavy as fuck, and you can feel the vibration of drum skins (by Jani Suopajärvi) and bass strings (by Rauli Alaruikka). The vocals of Jukka Haarala are low throat-ripping growling, and forceful at that, but not very varying. They can be understood for a big part, so points for that. I always like that, when words can be understood without a lyrics sheet. And this even has one, good work for an independent release.
Gladly this is an EP, not a demo, so I can give it a score. This totally blew me away. And it will guarantee the band a record deal, I could bet my music collection for that! A very, very positive surprise from Ravage Machinery. Keep it heavy, brutal and catchy, guys! "Catchy" does not mean "poppy" or "pussy" here, mind you. Check out 'The Dystopian Tide' on the band's website and if you like it, buy it. Support the band, support true music, TRUE METAL MUSIC. I think Ravage Machinery just made both the history and the future of metal music better! Therefore, the score is...
Rating: 10 (out of 10) ratings explained
Reviewed by Lane