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Mystic Force - Man vs. Machine CD (album) cover

MAN VS. MACHINE

Mystic Force

 

Progressive Metal

4.00 | 1 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Man VS Machine" is the 4th full-length studio album by US power/progressive metal act Mystic Force. The album was released through Siegen Records in 2001. It had been 6 years since the release of their 3rd full-length studio album "A Step Beyond (1995)" and a lineup change on the lead vocalist spot had taken place as Bobby Hicks has been replaced by William Wren. The latter was also the featured lead vocalist on the "Steps to a New Machine" EP from 2000. The four original tracks (The EP also included a couple of cover tracks) are included on "Man VS Machine".

Mystic Force have always belonged to the semi-progressive US power metal camp and acts like Queensrˇche, Fates Warning, Heir Apparent and Sanctuary are valid references. However with each release they incorporated more and more progressive elements to their sound, and that culminates on "Man VS Machine", which was by far their most progressive offering up until then. The influences from especially Queensrˇche (their most progressive releases from the late eighties) are still strong, but Mystic Force are generally a heavier beast and it's not unusual for their music to include harder edged US power/thrash oriented metal riffing. Lead vocalist William Wren has a voice and a singing style that reminds me of Geoff Tate (Queensrˇche) and sometimes Ray Alder (Fates Warning, Redemption). A very skilled singer with a strong voice.

"Man VS Machine" is a strong album throughout. Each track stand out as memorable and catchy, the sound production is professional and powerful and the musicianship is oustanding. The tracks aren't overtly progressive in structure, but while they mostly follow a vers/chorus formula, Mystic Force successfully make sure to include compositional surprises to keep their music entertaining. At 62:26 minutes it's a rather long album but it's one of those rare releases with a long playing time that doesn't feel long because there are no low points. It's consistently great all the way through and as a consequence a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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