When I first read that 3 of the members of classic DOKKEN had got together with current WARRANT vocalist Robert Mason to form END MACHINE my taste buds duly started to salivate, with Jeff Pilson Bass, Mick Brown drums, and the immense George Lynch guitar all together again in the studio and with Masons fresh musical input I was intrigued to know what the end results were going to be and how many DOKKEN,WARRANT,LYNCH MOB influences were going to be evident.
Album opener “LEAP OF FAITH” with its with its gentle fade in has that comfortable rock swagger with a very crisp production from Jeff Pilson and a almost dark grungy vocal from Mason,which is mixed up with some cracking high notes and George Lynch being Mr reliable as usual and laying down a stupendous off the wall guitar solo that doesn’t have to shred to be totally impressive. So many albums get released where the opening song is either a fast thumping number or a wall of noise, not with THE END MACHINE who have settled on this flowing solid classic sounding track.
“HOLD ME DOWN” is our first introduction to Mick Brown who kicks things off with a frantic drum roll and some tasty fills for good measure, more of a up tempo track with some nice slide guitar work and some serious foot on the monitor rocking, the most pleasant surprise so far is this outfit sound far removed from the previous mentioned groups they are associated with.
“NO GAME” with its Angus Young sounding opening notes slows down to a steady pace with more impressive vocals and to be honest I think they sound better on this release than on the albums with WARRANT, with a even slower section added to the song a spoken word vocal appears before building to its climax again.
3 songs into the album and this is more than what I was expecting from the band, they have so much studio experience from years of making music and this is evident in the tracks so far and with the shackles off from their day jobs they have free rein to branch out a bit.
“BULLETPROOF” with a gentle plucking on the guitar that soon gives way to a heavy crunching killer sounding slow tempo track with the vocals high up at the front of the song the track just trundles along like a steam roller and is as heavy as a bag of spanners a stand moment.
You want fast then “BURN THE TRUTH” should tick all the boxes. Stampeding away at 100 MPH with George Lynch still showing he has lost not of his style and talent after so many years, Jeff pilson adds some nice bass lines to this song and at various times you can hear quiet clearly how frantic but controlled he is, trying to keep the whole thing together.
“ALIVE TODAY” with its industrial synth intro soon makes way to a very modern sounding number, I love the chorus on this song with everything sounding huge and in your face, with that menacing bass making an appearance again before more guitars and synths kick in.. This is Robert Masons stand out performance, I thought Tony Harnells voice was amazing on the new STARBREAKER album (Dysphoria) but this is just as impressive,
Gentle acoustic guitar introduces “SLEEPING VOICES” this track just flows and flows and its huge just epic,clocking in at almost 7 minutes it just sweeps the listener away on a journey, talk about all bases covered with soft sections heavy sections raging guitar then mellow guitar its a fitting close to an album that is chock full of surprises with more than a little in there for any fan of classic rock. I don’t usually say this when I write a review but I urge anyone with some cash burning a hole in their pocket, to buy this. When 2019 comes to a end there will no doubt be many music releases for me to reflect
on over the space of the year, well for me THE END MACHINE could very well be the surprise package, a cracking debut album indeed
Review by Steve Bruty for metalplanetmusic