Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby BSC » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:28 am

Here's my track-by-track review, I've given this album a good few listens and my impressions have definitely changed since the first listen:

Bringer of War - I really enjoy how this song starts. The intro drumming with the riffs is typical thrash metal. The riffs keep on getting more intense prior to chorus and it's really good stuff. But then a poppy boomy chorus hits and the song loses its momentum. But then the riffs continue and it picks up again. I enjoy Mark's vocals, sounds a mix of Dave Mustaine and Ozzy Osbourne, something we haven't heard from him before. I don't normally pay attention to guitar solos, but the solo feels like something I've not heard from Mark before. It reminds me of some of Chris Broderick's work on Megadeth's Endgame. I dislike the 'yeah's at the end of the song, it reminds me of some of James Hetfield's cheesier work. I'd give this a 7.5/10. It could easily be higher with a different chorus and without the outro 'yeah's, I feel that both of these features really weaken the intensity of one of Mark's heaviest songs.

From the Sky - the title of this song reminds me of that super heavy Gojira song of the same name with a face-crushing riff. Again, the intro seems to be straight out of some classic thrash metal stuff, which is always good for me. I really dislike the chorus, but the rest of the song is decent. I'm not sure why this album has so much 'woahs' and 'yeahs'. I thought this was a concept album, doesn't Mark have a story to tell? Surely there's some lyrics he could have put in place of all this? - 7/10

A Dying Machine - Again, I really enjoy this song. I like how it has room to breathe, Mark isn't rushing the song, and I love the range of dynamics on show with the bridge. I like the riffs and Mark's singing on top. 9/10

Trust - I like Garrett's groove on this, but there's not much that I can talk about on this. I wouldn't be disappointed if I never hear it again. It's not bad, but just not particularly stand-out material. The chorus is one of Mark's typical boomy choruses, but I feel like it lacks an overall hook for it to be memorable. I'm not keen on the ad libbed vocals again, the high notes on the outro just sound a bit too boy-bandy for my liking. I don't feel like this album is an album that I will listen to in its entirety for much longer, so this will probably become a skippable song. I must say that the guitar intro sounds an awful lot like Alice in Chain's A Little Bitter, but I'm not saying that Mark ripped it off, I doubt he's ever heard the song. As another side note, I can't help but think about Megadeth's Truth when I listen to this song. I'll definitely have to listen to it once this review is completed! 6/10

Thrown to the Lions - Woohoo back to the heavy shit. I get a Megadeth vibe from this one (as you might have guessed, I fucking love Megadeth). The melodic chorus on this one is a bit too much and I feel that the intensity of the lost as soon as the chorus comes along (similar to Bringer of War). The riffing in the bridge is great, I just wish it wasn't thrown away so soon for a fairly average guitar solo. I imagine this song will go down very well live. 7/10.

Make it Hurt - Here we go, I really enjoy this song. The riff is heavy as hell and has a bit of swagger and swing to it that makes you just want to bop your head along and this continues throughout the verse and pre-chorus. It's one of the few heavy songs on this album where the intensity isn't lost in the chorus (although the transition to the chorus is a bit jarring), and for that reason I think it's one of my favourite songs in the Tremonti catalogue. 9/10

Traipse - I just don't find this song very interesting at all. The entire song is just a complete non-event. There's also the Waters Rising similarities that have been raised. I swear that on almost every Tremonti album (excluding Fortress) there's songs that just seem to pad out the albums, for example, Twilight, Losing Patience, Rising Storm, Never Wrong (the latter two being exceptionally forgettable). I feel this song is where the album really starts to deteriorate. 3/10.

The First The Last - This song is really refreshing, I can completely see why people would dislike it, but I think it's a much needed change of pace and tone. The context of the overall overall story and concept of this album prevents the lyrics from being too cheesey. It definitely be a Whitesnake or Bon Jovi ballad (I do have a soft spot for both bands), but the story and concept gives it a much needed layer of depth. Garrett's tom groove in the second verse is also a nice little touch of flair. I hadn't actually noticed the ad libbed vocals before writing this review, they work in context to this song. 8/10.

A Lot Like Sin - For fuck sake Mark. Please see comments for Traipse. I'm going to give this song one less point simply because it's another absolute non-event filler of a song. By this point, my general enthusiasm for the album is wearing off. I wonder whether Mark gets enough external feedback when writing and recording songs like this. He's been working with Elvis for so long, who is probably very used to songs like this, that no one in the studio says 'wait a minute, I don't think this is up to standard' 2/10.

The Day When Legions Burned - Thank god for this song. There's some proper thrash riffing going on here and the intensity doesn't let off throughout the verse or even the chorus (as mentioned above, a real rarity for Mark). I've actually had this song repeat a couple of times. These kind of relentlessly heavy songs are exactly what I wanted from Tremonti right from the outset of this project. I also like how Garrett changes the pulse on the third chorus, keeps things interesting 9/10.

As the Silence Becomes Me - the latter half of this album is a real mixed bag and a bit of a chore to sit through. I don't dislike this song, but much like Trust, it's just not particularly memorable. 6/10.

Take Me With You - I actually really liked this song when it was released, it's a definite change of tone for Mark. I can forgive the typical Mark bridge and solo, simply because it's a nice song. I feel like it suffers due to its placement on the album though, by the time this song comes along my overall enthusiasm for the album has worn off and I kind of want it to over, but that's not a criticism of this individual song, more of the album as a whole. 8/10

Desolution - I feel like I definitely need to listen to this song more. I had initially considered it to be quite forgettable, but I can see that you guys really like it. I think the ad libbed vocals are a really poor way and anti-climatic to end this album. The sheer quantity of ad libbed vocals almost makes me think that Mark had ran out of words to tell this story. Can you imagine if the outros songs like Fortress, Cry of Achilles or the Last Hero had these kind of ad libbed vocals as opposed to what Myles sings? 5/10

Found - I'm not sure what this song contributes to the album? It's a bit of a non-event. 5/10

Concluding thoughts - I'm pretty sure I read an interview before The Last Hero era where Mark said he wanted to write a more focused, shorter album of maybe 11-12 songs. I really wish he'd do that. I'm an album guy, I like to listen to albums in their entirety, and I judge albums as a whole piece of work. This album has some great thrash metal stuff which I absolutely love, but an awful lot of forgettable too which really does drag the entire album down.

Overall score - 6.5 (that's actually a lot lower than I thought it would be).

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby fix » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:25 am

BSC wrote:I really dislike the chorus, but the rest of the song is decent. I'm not sure why this album has so much 'woahs' and 'yeahs'. I thought this was a concept album, doesn't Mark have a story to tell? Surely there's some lyrics he could have put in place of all this?


This is my biggest problem with the album.

Thanks for the honest review, enjoyed reading it. :) And totally agree on Make It Hurt, awesome song.

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby Crumbso » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:53 am

I think this is a better album than previous for sure and applaud Mark for it. As usual for a Tremonti project though, it’s too long and condenses into an awesome 40 minute album. Changing the song order makes it flow better too. Opens awesome with ‘The Day That Legions Burned’ as it just storms out the gate with that gorgeous thrash groove. I find finishing with ‘A Dying Machine’ has more weight and finality than desolation too.

1. The Day That Legions Burned
2. Take You With Me
3. Trust
4. Make It Hurt
5. Bringer of War
6. Desolation
7. From The Sky
8. As The Silence Becomes Me
9. A Dying Machine
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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby chtimixeur » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:57 am

It's a somewhat solid album overall. But it pretty much has all the flaws from the various Mark records from the last 10 years. I think his songwriting has just become very stale: the guy can still write some GREAT riffs, but the songs are so similar and redundant from an album to the next. He's just releasing too much average+ stuff, and in the end, it's all a blur. For instance, I would really have a hard time picking my favourite Tremonti songs: very few of them suck, but at the same time, very few stand out.
More than ever, it's time to shake things up drastically, or else we'll keep hearing the same songs with the same structures and anthemic choruses over and over again for the next 15 or 20 years. Some fans would probably be OK with that, but I think he's got potential to do MUCH better. I still think he's got a Master of Puppets in him, but if he keeps using the same people and rewriting the same songs, we won't ever hear it.
I keep hearing him say "if it's not broken, don't fix it", but sometimes, getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to get to the next level. Just because Elvis' studio is 10 minutes from his house doesn't mean he has to go there for the rest of his career...
Also, maybe he should release less music and live longer with the songs before recording them in a hurry like he always does.

As to the album itself.

Positive:
- Take You with me is the best Foo Fighters song in 15 years.
- I love the use of mellotron on Desolation.
- Throw Them to the Lions' intro kinda reminds me of Ties That Bind's.
- Throw Them to the Lions' part at 1:53 reminds me of a famous metal song, but I can't put a name on it. Maybe something from Rust in Peace, I don't know, but it's definitely one of my favourite parts on the record.
- I love the Megadeth solo in Bringer of War
- From the Sky's riff is badass
- I love the Creed sounding intro of The First The Last. I'm not a fan of the song though: it sounds to me like it was purposefully written for the radio .

Negative:
- too many "oooooh" in the lyrics
- the anthemic choruses that sound forced on quite a few songs
- the solos are too short
- Desolation, Traipse and As The Silence Becomes belong on a (bad) Alter Bridge record. Plus, it feels like I've heard that kind of "more serious" songs way too many times before.
- enough of those bluesy licks at the beginning of the second verse
- Trust belongs on a nu-metal record
- Found is by far the dullest thing ever released by Mark. Never in a million years should it have made (and closed) the record.
- the guitar tone on the metal songs
- the cymbal sound on the metal songs
- the echo on vocals
- the Elvis bell on Throw Them to the Lions.

All I Was: 5/10
Dust: 5.5/10
Cauterize: 6/10
A Dying Machine: 6.5/10

My Own Prison: 8/10
Human Clay: 10/10
Weathered: 8/10
Full Circle: 5/10

One Day Remains: 9/10
Blackbird: 8.5/10
ABIII: 6.5/10
Fortress: 8/10
The Last Hero: 6/10
Last edited by chtimixeur on Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby Dolo » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:15 am

Chtimixeur, you brind up some amazing points, man, and I agree with majority of them, but:

chtimixeur wrote:- Found is by far the dullest thing ever released by Mark. Never in a million years shoukd it have made (and closed) the record.


Here, I strongly disagree. Found is a very pleasant departure from what he does on the rest of the record but if only he could've worked on it a little bit more and put it as the lead-in track. Imagine it building up section by section and then exploding into some of his metal riffs of which he has plenty on his record.

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby chtimixeur » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:33 am

Well, it just doesn't work for me at all. It sounds unfinished and goes nowhere, and I'm not a fan of the programmed synthetic drums. For instance, there was a Fear factory album which was recorded without a drummer, and once I discovered it, I could never listen to it afterwards anymore.
But it's just my opinion, and if people like it, good for them.

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby Crumbso » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:23 am

chtimixeur wrote:Well, it just doesn't work for me at all. It sounds unfinished and goes nowhere, and I'm not a fan of the programmed synthetic drums. For instance, there was a Fear factory album which was recorded without a drummer, and once I discovered it, I could never listen to it afterwards anymore.
But it's just my opinion, and if people like it, good for them.


I like the idea behind it but it's far too long and doesn't fit anywhere in the album.
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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby fix » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:55 am

What’s wrong with the guitar tone, do you think? Just wondering cause I quite like it.

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby Jaded Rescue » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:24 pm

UninvitedZero wrote:Rats. :lol

..... AHHHHOOOOOOOOOAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby Flet » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:51 pm

Great album, really is. Best sounding mix as well. Finally Elvis doesn't mess it up.
Just wish there was a way to hear, let alone purchase, Now or Never, since if you don't live in the USA and have access to a Wal Mart (no exclusives in Canada!).

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby UninvitedZero » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:12 pm

Jaded Rescue wrote:
UninvitedZero wrote:Rats. :lol

..... AHHHHOOOOOOOOOAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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Hahaha! So I've had Ghost's Prequelle on steady rotation with ADM... They're still coming after you!
Now more than ever what we need
Is love to replace all the obscene

:peace

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby Jaded Rescue » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:41 am

UninvitedZero wrote:
Jaded Rescue wrote:
UninvitedZero wrote:Rats. :lol

..... AHHHHOOOOOOOOOAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Image

Hahaha! So I've had Ghost's Prequelle on steady rotation with ADM... They're still coming after you!

And there's nothing you can dooooooooooooooooo!

Such a great album!

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby chtimixeur » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:46 am

fix wrote:What’s wrong with the guitar tone, do you think? Just wondering cause I quite like it.

It's too loud, and it clips (listen to the beginning of From the Sky, for instance).
I also think it lacks clarity. It's not as muddy as it was on the fastest Cauterize songs, but IHMO, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

But it's not all bad. For instance, I really like the sound of the riff that comes in at 3:19 in Bringer of War. My issue is that when we hear the whole band playing fast, it's a bit of a sonic mess, and it's hard to hear the subtleties of each instrument.

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby Crumbso » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:53 am

chtimixeur wrote:
fix wrote:What’s wrong with the guitar tone, do you think? Just wondering cause I quite like it.

It's too loud, and it clips (listen to the beginning of From the Sky, for instance).
I also think it lacks clarity. It's not as muddy as it was on the fastest Cauterize songs, but IHMO, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

But it's not all bad. For instance, I really like the sound of the riff that comes in at 3:19 in Bringer of War. My issue is that when we hear the whole band playing fast, it's a bit of a sonic mess, and it's hard to hear the subtleties of each instrument.


The gain structure is a bit 'fuzz-based' as well. Not much front of the note string/pick attack. Not my kinda tone but it doesn't sound awful.

I'm more annoyed by the kick drum just being this all consuming distorted monster. The rest of the kit sounds quite nice and detailed but someone fell asleep and pushed the kick fader up about 5db!! :/
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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby gbruin » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:34 pm

SHEAKENBAKEN wrote:
TurningStones wrote:In an interview with Loudwire, Mark Tremonti said the following about A Dying Machine's tracklist "On the album, I didn't want to tell the story from start to finish, because if you did that, the sequence would be weird dynamically." After listening to the album multiple times, I was wondering if anybody on this forum has figured out where the songs would fit in chronogical order. I tried taking a stab at it, but ultimately got nowhere.


This is as far of an outline as I can figure out...
As The Silence Becomes Me - was shown in a picture to be 'chapter 1' of the novel
The Day When Legions Burned - Vessels are recalled, which puts into motion the main plot
Bringer of War - Ares wants to start an uprising against humanity so Vessel-kind doesn't get destroyed
Throw Them To The Lions - Ares trying to convince people to follow his rebellion
Make It Hurt - Continuation of Lions plot
From The Sky - The war between human and Vessel-kind is happening
A Dying Machine - A conversation between Stella and Brennan, and since Brennan would have to be alive for this to happen I figure it's before The First The Last....
The First The Last - Stella reflecting on killing Brennan
Traipse - Stella being abandoned on an Island and about her voyage back home, presumably after she murdered Brennan
Found - Outro song so no real plot relevance but I keep it at the end anyways :lol

Unsure of where they fit into the plot
Desolation - The degenerative skin issue for the ATSBM character is starting to prove fatal and they’re coming to terms with their eventual demise
Trust - Based on the description of the song I'd assume it fits somewhere between Make It Hurt and A Dying Machine (Conversation between Stella and Ares where Ares is trying to convince Stella to follow him. Ares happens to be obsessed with Stella.)
A Lot Like Sin - Based on the description of the song I'd again assume it fits somewhere between Throw Them The Lions and From The Sky (Trying to convince someone to drop their “holier than thou front” and embrace their darker side, and convincing that person to follow them.)
Take You With Me - I'm not sure how or if this song really fits into the novel, but given the message the song is trying to convey, I could see it being Ares trying to convince Stella to join him some more....So between Make It Hurt and A Dying Machine, too? :headscratch

This is great, Shea. I have been trying to place it all and this seems as good or better than anything I've come up with.
Another photobucket casualty... :(
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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby riemslag1 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:44 am

ok, that was a nice list by Chtimixeur to rate Mark Tremonti's complete catalogue. This should become as diverse as ADM-ratings themselves.

For me :

All I Was: 7,5/10
Dust: 8/10
Cauterize: 8/10
A Dying Machine: 8,5/10

My Own Prison: 6/10
Human Clay: 6.5/10
Weathered: 6/10
Full Circle: 7/10

One Day Remains: 8/10
Blackbird: 8.5/10
ABIII: 9,5/10
Fortress: 9/10
The Last Hero: 6,5/10

Amsterdam : 9/10
Wembley : 7/10
O2 : 8/10

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby fix » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:49 am

chtimixeur wrote:
fix wrote:What’s wrong with the guitar tone, do you think? Just wondering cause I quite like it.

It's too loud, and it clips (listen to the beginning of From the Sky, for instance).
I also think it lacks clarity. It's not as muddy as it was on the fastest Cauterize songs, but IHMO, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

But it's not all bad. For instance, I really like the sound of the riff that comes in at 3:19 in Bringer of War. My issue is that when we hear the whole band playing fast, it's a bit of a sonic mess, and it's hard to hear the subtleties of each instrument.


These are some problems in 'mixing/mastering' as well I suppose. But I understand what you're saying.

I think the guitar tone itself is pretty 'clear' still. Like in Bringer of War I can pretty much hear every note although it's a pretty fast riff. And I love the sound of the ringing (power) chords in From The Sky. Mark has always been a very high gain guy, but on albums I always thought the tone was pretty good.

Live on the other hand...

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby Crumbso » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:40 am

Live... mud be thy name.
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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby chtimixeur » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:02 am

The numbers are in: A Dying Machine sold 10,000 copies in its first week and sits at #57 on the Billboard 200.
Things have changed a lot over the last couple of years, and streaming now plays a huge part in the ranking compared to 2015 or 2016.

source: http://www.metalinsider.net/columns/met ... ng-machine

All I Was: 12,000 copies sold in its first week (#29)
Cauterize: 17,444 copies sold in its first week (#34)
Dust: 14,000 copies sold in its first week [15,000 sales plus streaming] (#34)
A Dying Machine: 10,000 copies sold in its first week (#57)

Human Clay: 315,670 copies sold in its first week (#1)
Weathered: 887,229 copies sold in its first week (#1)
Full Circle: 109,749 copies sold in its first week (#2)

One Day Remains: 95,373 copies sold in its first week (#5)
Blackbird: 47,000 copies sold in its first week (#13)
AB III: 28,000 copies sold in its first week (#17)
Fortress: 30,000 copies sold in its first week (#12)
The Last Hero: 26,955 copies sold in its first week [27,800 sales plus streaming] (#8)

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Re: Tremonti pt #4 - A Dying Machine

Postby Mr. Slash » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:04 am

chtimixeur wrote:The numbers are in: A Dying Machine sold 10,000 copies in its first week and sits at #57 on the Billboard 200.
Things have changed a lot over the last couple of years, and streaming now plays a huge part in the ranking compared to 2015 or 2016.


Furthermore the gap between Murica and Western/Central Europe becomes bigger.

#18 in Germany, #14 in Austria and #3 (!) in Switzerland. For some reason Tremonti became much more popular in the German speaking part of Europe. Also #19 in UK and #9 in Scottland are pretty strong.


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