The story starts back a few years when Mark Anderson (guitarist), Jaycen Angone (drummer) and Eamon Skube (then on bass) were part of the Chicago Hard Rock band Ditchwater. The band released a few albums, worked with national producers, shared the stage with numerous national acts and received significant radio airplay and TV exposure with only the long sought after label deal eluding them. The journey ended in late 2007 with the arrest (and subsequent conviction on armed robbery charges) of the bands singer. Considering the previous singer had left the band right before a potential live appearance on National TV in 2006, the remaining members decided to put the working part of the band to rest. Throughout the majority of the decade we went through tons of changes both in line up and in musical styles that I just didn t have the will and patience to carry on with that particular project any longer said Anderson. In 2008 Mark, Jaycen and Skube joined forces with guitarist Mark Cichra to form a new band. Initially named Ashes From Within, the group auditioned singer after singer while never finding the right fit. The music had been written but a suitable front man was proving to be extremely difficult to obtain. Skube had started doing pre-production vocals for potential try outs and it became clear rather quickly that he had what it took to take over the job permanently. A final decision was made in February of 2009 and the band had their official beginning with the new name Denial Machine. "Moving to front man was a smooth transistion, it stirred up a renewed dedication and I became more involved in the details of the entire operation at that point" said Skube. It was a leap of faith in some respect due to the unknown aspect of the change. But knowing the work ethic and talent were already present made it easier and the results were beyond expectations said Angone. In May of 2009 the band entered Belle City Sound in Racine, WI with Producer Chris Wisco (who has worked with such bands as November s Doom, Dirge Within and Nonpoint). From May to September the group recorded and mixed 12 songs that would comprise the debut album. (Bass tracks on the album were handled by the legendary Chicago session player Sweetiebuns ). In July of that year 2 songs emerged early from the recording as a preview and the response was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. In August they made their debut live appearance opening for Victory Recording Artists Otep. In early October the line up was completed when Brad Heilman was recruited to takeover the bass position on a permanent basis. The professionalism and musicianship the band possesses made it a good choice for me commented Heilman. Later that month the album was sent to James Murphy (Obituary, Death, Testament) at SafeHouse Production for Mastering. December 15th saw the digital release of the album. January of 2010 will see the release of the physical version of the album followed by tour dates as the band sets out to promote the album for the rest of the year.
In a period where the style that has come to be known as metalcore has been in some form of steady decline, the self-titled debut album from Illinois five-piece Denial Machine really is a breath of fresh air. With a sound that combines melodic intricacy with death metal-inspired savagery, it is essential that fans of exquisite harmonies, soaring metal choruses and pulverizing riffs pay close attention to this excellent band. Anyone fortunate enough to listen to Denial Machine will no doubt struggle to comprehend the fact that this is the debut release from a band that did not even exist this time last year, as the level of musicianship on display would suggest that this is the sound of an experienced, accomplished collective. The band does feature members of the now defunct Ditchwater so they are not exactly newcomers, but tracks such as The God Particle and Another Savior really are reminiscent of Killswitch Engage s best work, and to have the ability to come anywhere close to replicating such a high standard of music is a remarkable achievement. The most pleasing thing, however, is that the quality remains high throughout. One major asset of a band of this style is always to have a talented vocalist, and Eamon Skube is most certainly that. His capacity to alternate between aggressive screaming and euphoric melodies is second to none; both styles are demonstrated very effectively on the awesome A Symbol of Obsession, while the climax of Delivering Failure is a notable example of Skube s singing capabilities in particular. In fact, Skube s prowess in both vocal styles seemingly goes hand in hand with the overall sound of Denial Machine, as the band s capabilities in both melody and all-out brutality are obvious. Opening track Whom the Gods Would Destroy is a great representation of this, while the ingeniously-crafted harmonies of Idée Fixe are simply irresistible. It must be said, however, that closing track Worms of the Earth is undoubtedly Denial Machine s finest hour. An adrenaline-fuelled, fast-paced behemoth, this stunning piece of work contains all the best elements of everything that has gone before infectious choruses, brilliant harmonies, and supreme vocals and then some. The Meshuggah-esque tech-metal vibe of the track enhances the band s credentials even further, and is just one of many reasons why Denial Machine is worth checking out. If this band can maintain this standard on future releases, there is no doubt that they will be a force to be truly reckoned with. --EspyRock
DENIAL MACHINE is the self-titled debut of this Chicago-based band, and it's a solid way to kick off their career in the Metal world. According to the band's bio, two of its current members were once part of a hard rock band called Ditchwater, which dissolved after several years and some ill-fated circumstances. Now guitarist Mark Anderson and drummer Jaycen Angone, together with Eamon Skube (vocals) and Mark Cichra (also on guitar) have released their first new album under the band's new name, Denial Machine. DENIAL MACHINE is a little over 51 minutes long and weighs in at 12 tracks; a good average length for an album. With each track the listener is engaged by the skillfully crafted melodic death metal presented by the band. The music is filled with melodic leads (both guitar and vocal) and mixed with harsh growls and rhythms. There is also a good mix of mid- and fast-paced (most songs mix the two together) to ensure that all of the bases are covered. Everything is put together remarkably well for a first release, and in fact was mastered by James Murphey (Obituary, Death, Testament). Unfortunately, where the album comes up lacking is its diversity amongst its individual tracks. While each song can stand on its own and be a good listen, there simply isn't enough variation to keep all 51 minutes interesting when listened to all at once. Mix the tracks in with the rest of your music collection and they'll be great when they come up, but listen to twelve in a row and your mind might start to wander after a while. If that's the only complaint about the album though, you know the band has done some things right. DENIAL MACHINE is definitely a good start for the band, and if future releases remain as solid then they may one day be a force to be reckoned with. --Metal-Rules