Act of Self Destruction Industrial Metal Malice Machine This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint. I’m just going to start off with the bad from Malice Machine, a self-described aggro-punk band consisting of Syn and Julie-X. The reason I’m doing this is not because I think the album is awful but because this is a consistent complaint I have in regards to most industrial music. The vocals suck. As I have mentioned many times in the past, vocals continue to be the bane of most industrial musicians’ existence and Malice Machine is no different. Strained and gritty vocals that sound pretty bad on their own and even worse as they either hover above the beat or can’t find a way to intertwine with it; it’s not fun and they’re quite awful to hear. Vocalist Syn uses strings of phrases in guttural outbursts to sing along to the songs letting each outburst end with a bit of a fade. Rinse, wash, repeat. Moving onto the music, however, there are a bunch of positive notes to discuss. The album begins with ‘Bleed’ which utilizes metallic drums alongside a mid-paced EBM rhythm which combine quite well. It’s almost as if Oscar the Grouch got ahold of a couple of drum sticks and a synthesizer and decided to make some music. A few samples in there about murder, ya know, the usual stuff, and you have a decent instrumental. Act of Self Destruction by Malice Machine‘Delete Me’ takes a different route into dance territory using rolling beats to get your inner rivethead fired up. Plenty of deviation and there’s even a spot for a little industrial breakdown later in the song. ‘Hyena’ embraces the experimental nature of electro-industrial opting in for complete synthetic destruction, thumps, and mayhem. ‘Shut Down’ is one of the few instrumentals I couldn’t get behind; it sounds as if its unfinished and still in the demo stage. I’m not sure if this was purposeful or not, but it lacks the punch many of the other songs on the album contain. ‘Slither’ thankfully puts the punch back in as beats form a heartbeat of sorts as samples speak of something demonic while ‘Nothing Matters’ gives a more heartfelt and emotional electronic ballad backed by a dark and intense beat. I wasn’t huge into ‘Damaged’, either. I struggled to explain why to myself, but the best way I can describe the song is that it sounds as if a car’s engine keeps trying to kick over without success. ‘Prayer’ gets back on track with one of Malice Machine’s simpler beats in line with their rough industrial nature, and I’ve similar comments for ‘Desolation’. The last song of the album is a cover of ‘Living on Video’ by synthpop band Trans-X. My opinion on covers is as such: if you can’t either match the original or do better in quality and fun, then you shouldn’t do it at all. This one should not have been done. I’ll also give a quick compliment regarding the song length. Malice Machine’s longest song on the album is around four-minutes and twelve seconds long, which is just enough to get the point across and then move on. This is a pretty easy album to rate; the music is decent, not quite as polished as some other productions, but decent enough to where I can see why people can enjoy it. Sure, it could use a touch-up from a professional or someone with more experience, but as it stands it ain’t half-bad. The vocals are atrocious which is not a shock to me anymore, but considering they’re a big part of the Malice Machine experience, it does knock the score down quite a bit. If it was just instrumental, or if the duo had a different vocalist or used collaborators to fill in those spots, maybe this would rate higher. But, as it stands, I can’t really recommend “Act of Self Destruction” to many.  350
Brutal Resonance

Malice Machine - Act of Self Destruction

5.5
"Mediocre"
Released 2024 by Off Label
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint. 

I’m just going to start off with the bad from Malice Machine, a self-described aggro-punk band consisting of Syn and Julie-X. The reason I’m doing this is not because I think the album is awful but because this is a consistent complaint I have in regards to most industrial music. The vocals suck. As I have mentioned many times in the past, vocals continue to be the bane of most industrial musicians’ existence and Malice Machine is no different. Strained and gritty vocals that sound pretty bad on their own and even worse as they either hover above the beat or can’t find a way to intertwine with it; it’s not fun and they’re quite awful to hear. Vocalist Syn uses strings of phrases in guttural outbursts to sing along to the songs letting each outburst end with a bit of a fade. Rinse, wash, repeat. 

Moving onto the music, however, there are a bunch of positive notes to discuss. The album begins with ‘Bleed’ which utilizes metallic drums alongside a mid-paced EBM rhythm which combine quite well. It’s almost as if Oscar the Grouch got ahold of a couple of drum sticks and a synthesizer and decided to make some music. A few samples in there about murder, ya know, the usual stuff, and you have a decent instrumental. 


‘Delete Me’ takes a different route into dance territory using rolling beats to get your inner rivethead fired up. Plenty of deviation and there’s even a spot for a little industrial breakdown later in the song. ‘Hyena’ embraces the experimental nature of electro-industrial opting in for complete synthetic destruction, thumps, and mayhem. ‘Shut Down’ is one of the few instrumentals I couldn’t get behind; it sounds as if its unfinished and still in the demo stage. I’m not sure if this was purposeful or not, but it lacks the punch many of the other songs on the album contain. 

‘Slither’ thankfully puts the punch back in as beats form a heartbeat of sorts as samples speak of something demonic while ‘Nothing Matters’ gives a more heartfelt and emotional electronic ballad backed by a dark and intense beat. I wasn’t huge into ‘Damaged’, either. I struggled to explain why to myself, but the best way I can describe the song is that it sounds as if a car’s engine keeps trying to kick over without success. ‘Prayer’ gets back on track with one of Malice Machine’s simpler beats in line with their rough industrial nature, and I’ve similar comments for ‘Desolation’. 

The last song of the album is a cover of ‘Living on Video’ by synthpop band Trans-X. My opinion on covers is as such: if you can’t either match the original or do better in quality and fun, then you shouldn’t do it at all. This one should not have been done. 

I’ll also give a quick compliment regarding the song length. Malice Machine’s longest song on the album is around four-minutes and twelve seconds long, which is just enough to get the point across and then move on. 

This is a pretty easy album to rate; the music is decent, not quite as polished as some other productions, but decent enough to where I can see why people can enjoy it. Sure, it could use a touch-up from a professional or someone with more experience, but as it stands it ain’t half-bad. The vocals are atrocious which is not a shock to me anymore, but considering they’re a big part of the Malice Machine experience, it does knock the score down quite a bit. If it was just instrumental, or if the duo had a different vocalist or used collaborators to fill in those spots, maybe this would rate higher. But, as it stands, I can’t really recommend “Act of Self Destruction” to many. 
May 26 2024

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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