Somber - The Black Machine

1. Black Machine
2. A Thousand Rivers of Gasoline
3. The Last to Fall
4. Havoc and Empty Holes
5. Fragment
6. Red Wine
7. The Devils Own
8. Breathed Upon
9. Grace the Ignorant
10. A Machine Corroded
11. Whiskey and Brew (bonus)

John Bresäter (D)
Björn Rehnqvist (B)
Carl Fritzell (G)
Andreas Henriksson (G)
Pontus Dahlström (V)

Define:rend (EP 2005)

Tony J (voice)

Sven Jensen (Mix, prod)
Göran Finnberg (master)
Axel Widén (art)

suicide records

Somber’s debut album is a vacuum. That means it lacks of identity, content and feels like a whole lot of nothing. Just like vacuum, I feel this album is empty and it surprises me when the computer say the playback is over – what playback? I didn’t even noticed I played something.

No, I don’t have problems adjusting my volume levels, it’s just that I don’t get moved at all by this album. It neither feels good nor bad and even though they obviously aren’t vacuum, the content on ‘The Black machine’ very much feels like it.

So, what can be heard on Somber’s first album? My opinion is that the first track is the best, not only because it’s the shortest, but because it’s the least heavy one (not included the instrumental track half way through) and not as much teen age shouting as the rest of them. The music is overall heavy, much heavier than most other bands in the genre and Somber have, as it seems, tried to make a cool album. You notice this most on the base, which almost can give the most pneumatic drilling road worker a headache when stream listening to the album (although the length of the album is okay so that may be avoided).

Overall the faster songs are the better ones, since these doesn’t sound as much Ac/Dc rock ´n´ roll in death metal approach. The slower songs and parts holds up the record and gives room for thinking, but me personally feel they mostly gives me head ache. An inverting of Prozak or Valium perhaps, but at least the guitars work. As true as Ludwig Boltzmann confirmed the theory that the density of energy in the electromagnetic field is proportional to the fourth potency temperature this means that a compromise with melody and tempo gives an album that leans more to old school than the beautiful melodic version of death.

With his heavy voice, the Somber vocalist shouts backed by his band that makes as much noise they possibly are capable of with their half melodic and half rock’n’roll adjusted instruments. The result is hard (rock (hallelujah)), heavy and very much death metal.

As mentioned the guitars are good, they are also the lead instrument and the music is overall adjusted after them, but base and drums doesn’t really catch up with the melodies completely, which is the reason to why it doesn’t really click. I don’t say that base and drums are bad, only that they don’t play quite the same tunes as the guitars and this gets more and more obvious the longer the album go. Either the first songs are much better or, more likely, you don’t think as much about it in the beginning since you aren’t fed up with it then but on the last songs I really wonder what the hell they did when mixing together this vacuum. My vibes goes to a home made album, which is a bad grade for Svein Jensen.

No, to me this is a vacuum. Nothing bad meant to the musicans, but I just don’t take the music to me at all. It’s neither a thrashing or a celebration, the music definitely will work for everyone that likes aggressive metal. I would even say many people will think it’s good among those that like Kreator, Sodom and Destruction. Everyone that doesn’t know who those bands are should probably stand at least six feet away from ‘The Black Machine’. From me, this gets three skulls. But they do get a big plus to use at those who like extreme music. They have Hallowed’s negative guarantee for displease (no displease - or else!).


Label - Suicide Records/Triada
Three similar bands - Entombed/The Project Hate/Nightrage
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm