Weird Machine |Listenable Rec., 2008|
01. Dirty Dance, 02. Planet Crash, 03. Unclean, 04. Hardcore Massive Soldier, 05. Mad Box, 6. Sonic Life, 07. Freak Machine, 08. Human Attack, 09. Evil Angel, 10. One More Time, 11. Never Give Up
The newest album the band re-united in 2007 is a step forward in their history. Treponem Pal, a classic industrial metal band from France, inspired by a sound of such groups like f.e. Godflesh
, which music is compared most often to a slowly rolling crusher, included to their songs a lot of industrial tunes as well. Since the beginning of the band's existence there have been four full albums released and during their reactivation appeared a 4 CD box entitled Fury Tales
including singles, re-edition of previous albums and live shows content. Treponem Pal with a new line up but still led by a charismatic singer Marco Neves released the first album since 1987 when the band went on a hiatus.
The expectations to the album were high because there were a few well know guests announced to take part in the recording sessions like a drummer Ted Parsons (Godflesh, Prong
, Swans) and a bass player Paul Raven (Ministry
, Prong, Killing Joke, Mob Research
). And I guess this is the right spot in most of Weird Machine reviews where the reviewers will make a stop to mention Paul Raven's death. This unfortunate day happened in the end of October 2007 when Treponem Pal was recording in Geneva studio in Switzerland. Raven, over 40 years old rockman suddenly got a heart attack and died leaving a great piece of work in his music biography and other band's discographies.
But let's move to the CD content. Weird Machine includes heavy music, which doesn’t escape from samplers use, fortunately in a tiny way, as there's more rock or even metal vibe in the tracks. Characteristic Marco's voice with a strong French accent stands for his power and also is an easy way to recognize Treponem Pal's sound.
Mad Box it's one of such typical for TP tracks with a bit funky guitars wrapped in a feedback between a bass and guitars covered with Marco's predatory voice, so something what you've already learnt from albums like Excess & Overdrive or Aggravation. Sonic Life has an interesting, dark and heavy atmosphere introduced by a cold guitar riff, continued with low tuned bass and guitars, next followed by psychedelic sounds of the keyboards. As for a song composition there are no significant changes – Treponem Pal's songs have strongly accented borders between the choruses and refrains.
Listening to this album reminds me a trip to some crazy amusement park with stops for a circus arena, ghost train, acrobat's wardrobe, merry-go-round and a devil's wheel ride. It's an image of an old type of the amusement park with no rollercoasters, because the speed of the tracks stays far from any madness. The other two songs like Freak Machine and Human Attack follow this mood wrapped with psychedelic music and bringing a fear that there will be some candy-like clown ready to jump out of a corner handling a bloody razor laughing aloud.
There are two pit stops during this trip and they are tracks called Evil Angel, very much in a style of older Killing Joke music and One More Time, where Marco shows his singing abilities, though it would be difficult to recognize who's singing. I guess we've never heard Marco singing this way before. In the end of the track there are some funky or even reggae guitar tunes what in fact isn't a surprise considering Higher album which already included such add-ons. Alike to the song finishing the album called Never Give Up which could be recognized easily by a TP fan but to someone new it would sound like a classic hard rock song with guitars and more dynamics compared to previous tracks on Weird Machine. Both tracks leave some deep trace after listening and it feels like I want to return to those songs to taste them more.
solidifies Treponem Pal's discography and with no doubts is a candidate for the best album of 2008.
P.S. Warm thanks to Listenable Records and Marco Neves.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)