New Keepers of the Water Towers – Infernal Machine

I love this album. It is a mostly instrumental album that occupies that hard-to-define space between hard rock and heavy metal. Fans of psychedelic music will love it for its tones. Fans of groove metal will love it for its occasional head-bobbiness. Fans of prog will like it for its patient buildups. But most of all, and I think this is why the album works for me, fans of good old rock will just really enjoy the experience of listening (or drifting off) to the album.

Let me just take you through the experience of listening to Infernal Machine.

Song 1, The Forever War, sets the mood, preparing you perfectly for the rest of the album. It’s a meditative experience, and is one of the few tracks with vocals. Once you have been set up for the show, popcorn in hand and all, Tracks over Carcosa kicks into gear with a rumble filled with anticipation. A steady bassline rises – this is promising, you think – the drums kick in, tantalising drones surround you. It’s happening, you think. It’s happening, it’s happening, it’s happening. When the lead guitar hits… Oh. god. What is this? You are just being carried by this album’s undercurrent. You hit Tachyon Deep, the vocals are back for a bit, there’s some oddly tribal drum-beating. It’s all good; you shut your eyes and let the music wash over you. This album was made to be experienced full-force. Misantropin Kallar is a good interlude and all, but you are hankering for the next pick-me-up. And then… oh my GOD what is this? (Escape Aleph Minor, by the way.) You nod your way through to the anticipation-filled Jorden, instrumental motifs start to become more apparent, and a narrative starts to form. You google the album and discover on some obscure music review site (perhaps this one) that the album is a soundtrack to Joe Haldeman’s 1974 novel The Forever War (a novel I haven’t read or researched). Ah, the motifs make sense. It makes total sense. The album closer, This Infernal Machine, revisits many a motif; it sounds both familiar and unfamiliar – it’s going to tie the whole album up neatly, you sense. It’s all going to add up now, you sense.

And it does. It totally does. This truly is an album-lover’s album. It’s a delightful listen – a great experience from start to finish. I highly recommend it.

Here are some links:

  • The album’s bandcamp page.
  • If you like Apple Music, you will love this link.
  • A video for The Forever War.

Have a good time.

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