Five years can really seem like it goes by without much thought but also feels like forever when music is the topic of discussion, and that’s especially when it involves a band you’re eagerly awaiting new material from. Chugger put out one of my favorite albums in 2015, and that album is still on rotation in my playlists as their brand of melodic death metal birthed from Gothenburg quickly became one of the few from the city that I could constantly enjoy. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s now we can finally sink our teeth into a new Chugger full-length, and it’s beyond anything that I was expecting.
Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting much more than at least a small improvement upon “Human Plague” given that Chugger’s sound was already pretty fucking solid on that album five years ago, so I figured they’d just keep the boat flowing down the same river when slowly putting together a new work. But, they didn’t do that. Instead, they went the extra mile and sought to improve upon their craft in virtually every form from the vocal performance to the ferocity of their sound as a whole to how infectious they can be to their very songwriting. It’s not often we see a band that wants to make a transition and can do so with great skill and wonder, but it’s all throughout “Of Man and Machine” that we’ve gotten just that! Chugger was able to pull off becoming so much more than what we got from their debut full-length in every feasible manner with this album as it’s clear that the five years of nothing but the slowest trickle of goodness coming from the band was not in vain or done with the band members sitting around on their asses doing nothing. Every track off “Of Man and Machine” really shows us what Chugger is truly capable of after years of honing their craft to the point where it’s extremely deadly to the touch.
It’s by the end of the album that you’ll be left wanting more of the intoxicating grooves that Chugger brings to the table. Everything that could’ve gone well with the likes of “Of Man and Machine” was pulled off with vicious talent and unyielding ferocity, and it’s a real earworm that won’t be leaving you anytime soon.
“Of Man and Machine” releases on April 24th!
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