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Shadowflag
The Delusion Machine
Type: CD
Company: Independent
Release: 2017
Genre: Black
Reviewer: Greg Watson
Published: 6/23/2017
Black Metal, spoken word and poetry oh my
UK act Shadowflag play "poetic black metal" and upon seeing this description I knew I had to hear this. I was unsure what to expect when I started 'The Delusion Machine' but after several play-throughs of the album, I am damn glad I took a chance on this one.

Very rarely is a band's description spot on in every way. Usually parts of it will be accurate and others a little embellished. But with Shadowflag, the description of poetic black metal is on point. Musically, you get this really cool mix of black metal with underlying noise and ambience that is interspersed with spoken word and poetry. The musical landscape that Shadowflag paints is one of a dark, bleak landscape that threatens to swallow you at every turn. The guitars are like voices droning, screaming and singing their emotions to you. The drums march you along to whatever lies ahead and the bass thunders its call out like a thunderbolt flung from the hand of Zeus himself. The vocals are mesmeric and powerful and the spoken word plaintive and potent.

I thought on my first run-through the album that the poetic parts were just a bit silly but on the subsequent listens,I understood just how well utilized they were. They provide atmosphere and feeling to the tracks they appear in. Musically, the black metal is a great blend of ambient and classic and is extremely well executed. The vocals are your standard bm rasp and the spoken word has a harsh edge to it to match the blackened vocals. The production is well done, allowing things to sound cohesive and organic without sounding too polished or sacrificing sound quality.

Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with what Shadowflag has done on 'The Delusion Machine'. The story told throughout the album is well-fleshed out and intriguing to follow. The entire album is just an amazing listen and I feel that many metal heads will find this one gracing their playlists for years to come.
About this Writer:
Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: SHADOWFLAG
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
The Delusion MachineShadowflag
2017
Greg Watson6/23/2017


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