The French dramatist Jean Cocteau may have described the clockwork of The Infernal Machine in his classic play, but there is something much worse slithering across the red sands of Australia.
If you want to sit in the driver’s seat of the Hell Machine, you’re going to have to head down under and do battle with bassist and vocalist Dave Hellrazor and a drummer Mal Machine for command of its helm. However, if you’d be content to simply marvel at the swath of destruction the devices current handlers are capable of bringing to bear, that’s probably just as well.
The duo sound like an absolute scourge on their most recent LP Relentless Aggression, and any challenge to their supremacy is likely to result in them wearing your intestines like big, bloody lei. The demonic dyad strike a fearsome swath on the album, presenting an incredibly physical and cutthroat crossover of black metal and punky thrash. They combine the cartoonishly aggressive, body-checking grooves of Anthrax with the villain-incarnate and mayhem invoking posturing of Venom in a blood ritual of mass violence and electric-extinction automation.
To come to terms with its chaos, we would be wise to turn back to the words of Mr. Cocteau, for in his play, after Oedipus blinds himself with a broach and his matriarchal paramour, Jocasta commits suicide in the aftermath of the truth of their incestuous union comes to light, he writes, “Before you is a fully wound machine. Slowly its spring will unwind the entire span of a human life. It is one of the most perfect machines devised by the infernal gods for the mathematical annihilation of a mortal.”
Hell Machine’s designs are a twin shadow of this deus ex machine. The spring is wound. The trap is set. Prepare to meet your doom, one bitter lash of a locked groove at a time.