Best entry in a long-running sci-fi saga by a power-metal band

In a world where sci-fi and fantasy novels have become network goldmines and almost every comic aspires to be a cinematic treatment, it’s such a treat to stumble across genre work which has no interest in becoming someone else’s intellectual property. Batavia Threesome Mechina have been reliably releasing entries in their expansive “As Embers Turn to Dust” saga for over a decade at this point, crafting a sprawling yet wonderfully dense story, the stuff of fan theories and wiki wormholes.

Regardless of your thirst for knowledge, Mechina has undeniable chops –in a banner year for the often forgotten genre of power metal, Seat easily places itself with what the contemporaries of the group have best to offer. Marrying industrial crunch with symphonic grandeur, Mechina has mastered the art of delivering long, complicated songs. They effortlessly draw on a foundation of death metal and djent to create ethereal, cynically inspired triumphs anchored by the soaring vocals of Mel Rose and David Holch. Seat’s title track (with guest vocals from Conflicts Anna Hel) shows the band in their most apocalyptic singing battles with guttural howls as the song gracefully wavers from breakdown to breakdown. It’s the story of a massive war machine coming to life, but it ends with quiet, unsettling voices in wordless celestial flights – the calm after (and before) the storm. As entry points to incredibly complex epics, you could do worse than this stunning example of Mechina’s skill. And for those who prefer to start elsewhere, they have already released another album: Venator was released in January 2022.

by Mechina Seat is also available in an instrumental version and a “core” version, which reduces its arrangements to basic guitar and drum tracks.

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