It’s easy to be both blown away and disappointed with Irreversible Mechanism’s debut release. This Belarusian-based band has basically written one of the most memorable and impressive tech-death albums in a long time. It makes sense that the band snagged former The Faceless drummer Lyle Cooper for the studio work, as Irreversible Mechanism’s sound feels like an exploration of what The Faceless could have been if they spent more time on songwriting.Infinite Fields is flush full of memorable guitar leads, dazzling solos, and head-banging riffs; it’s a guitar player’s wet dream, but, these songs never feel like outright excuses for guitar wankery. The impressive playing is an integral part of the songs; the band skillfully created full songs here.
So while it’s impressive that Irreversible Mechanism has done all this one its debut, there’s one issue. It feels like they are just short of where they could be. While these songs are exceptionally memorable, they could use some fine-tuning to take this album from exceptional to $%&*$# exceptional, you know? The band loves to weave synth work and symphonic elements into songs, but sometimes they feel tacked on or unnecessary. Take the otherwise unbelievable “Outburst” (I mean, I could never write something that technical and catchy). There is a nearly two minute drop where the song just drops everything and chooses to add in a haunting symphonic section. It mostly works, but it kills the song’s momentum. It’s examples like that where some sharper editing could have been done.
Also, the album sounds great, but it also sounds almost too clear; it has that now-standard hyper sheen that all modern death/tech-death has gone to. This washed-out sound leaves the record sounding somewhat same-y over the course of an entire listen, unfortunately. You can tell parts aren’t actually the same, but progressions and guitar leads will sound eerily similar throughout. Also, Yaroslav Korotkin’s vocals aren’t a problem, but they’re so robotic and unanimated that they feel like another instrument. It sounds as if the band shot for that style, but there are quite a few moments when you wished he would have added a dash of unique personality.
Those minor issues aside, Infinite Fields feels like a triumph. By writing a tech-death album this impressive as a debut, I can’t wait to see where these guys go with their next release. (Nicholas Senior)