One Night In Lulea – My Story With Machinae Supremacy
…can you guys tell this is going to be a pretty damn lengthy entry? Cause I can 😀
I got the idea for this post after Patrick‘s advanced birthday celebration. It was nice having our group of friends in one place all over again, just like last year. Regardless of the different paths we’ve all chosen, we can all just go back to where we started and get along just fine. And one of the things we could all just headbang to was a band called Machinae Supremacy.
For those not in the know, Machinae Supremacy is a metal band that originated from Lulea, Sweden with a musical style that is quite frankly too unique to have any other band sounding like them. The reason for that is that their brand of metal utilizes the Commodore 64‘s soundchip, a piece from their childhood brought into the present, therefore allowing their music to fall under their own specialized genre, SID metal.
Like many other things I happen to bump into and know, people are going to wonder how the hell some guy from the Philippines happened to get into things like these instead of every other countryman. And from here, you shall find out my story with my favorite band.
It all started when Paco, a friend from all the way since Ateneo Grade School introduced me to a Flash game called MFX2+. It was a Beatmania-like rhythm game that utilized a completely metal soundtrack instead of the usual mix of just-about-everything. This was back then when I was really looking for music I could truly love and call my own; music that would define me. And in this game were bands I would eventually know more about such as Freedom Call and Nightwish. But among those bands, I really liked one song called Sidstyler, which was apparently a cover by a band called Machinae Supremacy.
“Yeah! Straight from the top of my dome, as I rock, rock, rock, rock the microphone!”
I got curious, so I checked them out a bit more. I landed on their website (back then when they had designed it ala Redeemer)…and was instantly overwhelmed by the amount of free content they had. Back then the idea of having this much free content for the world to hear blew my mind. What band is this that could have all these songs with such great quality up for grabs on the internet? I had to check if these guys were legitimate, so I kinda…picked the coolest sounding name back then on their list of free downloads, the song title that resonated with me the most.
It was Winterstorm.
Right then and there I realized…I had found my favorite band.
I downloaded all their free content, one by one. Started listening to them. Started loving them. Memorized all their Swedish names, their lineups, their history. Made a special folder in my HDD with their songs, their hard-to-find songs, live bootlegs, wallpapers, lyrics…I was legitimately converted into a fanboy, case in point. Of course, that didn’t stay with just me, close friends like Carlo and the previously mentioned Patrick learned to appreciate them too and is now in their lists, if not on top, of best bands ever to exist on the face of this earth.
“Inside, somewhere inside, a different light, a different mind…”
As time passed, appreciation only grew stronger. I remember when I only had bits and pieces of songs from their actual albums, among them Rise from Redeemer…I still recall how it sent a shockwave of pure unadulterated awesome right down my spine. So I got myself up to speed and got Deux Ex Machinae, their first album and of course Redeemer after. That playlist, the Machinae Supremacy playlist, basically containing their entire discography then from the first tracks of Webography, the Jets’N’Guns Soundtrack (because I totally forgot to mention that they made a SID metal soundtrack for a very entertaining shmup), demos from the MIA Hubnester Industries, previous projects of the members before Machinae Supremacy started up to both retail and underground editions of Redeemer…was one I listened to for so long and for so much that I can only barely imagine how much it would’ve caused my scrobbles on my Last.fm to shoot up.
Yes. I almost listened to nothing BUT Machinae Supremacy. Not because there’s nothing else to listen to, I was already starting in my power metal phase then, and of course, Dark Moor happened. So why?
Because they were just that damn awesome.
I remember when they were announcing their third album, Overworld. So many conversations I read on the Machinae Supremacy Forums, teasing about song titles and whatnot were part of the many things all caused by the anticipation for the next album. Knew about Sid Icarus before it became Sid Icarus as a Jets’N’Guns track with lyrics, knew the final song for the Steve trilogy, and got blasted by even more awesomeness when they initially put out their cover of Gimme More originally by…Britney Spears.
The goddamn geniuses pulled it off. So, so well.
“I walk across the dead trainyard, remembering who we are…”
– Dark City
Unbelievable. That’s what Machinae Supremacy was. Overworld was incredible and regardless of the faults I found (like Stand as an album-ender compared to the previous album’s Empire), I loved it still.
…but times, they change; thoughts, they rearrange, and I don’t know who I am anymore. If you know which Anberlin track that came from, good job.
Post-Overworld, heading into the creation of their most recent album at the time of writing, A View From The End Of The World, I lost the interest and enthusiasm I had as a fanboy from everything up to Overworld. I wasn’t as excited anymore. My thoughts and opinions changed, and my music taste while still predominantly the same at some parts also changed. Waiting for AVFTEOTW wasn’t as fun as Overworld. I also gave my title of #1 Self-Proclaimed Machinae Supremacy fan in the Philippines to Patrick because I knew that I wasn’t, not anymore.
Granted, it’s the first physical album I actually have of Machinae Supremacy and it came straight from Sweden. And like every album of Machinae Supremacy, it’s awesome. If this happened during Overworld or even Redeemer I would’ve been insanely ecstatic. Not saying it wasn’t freaking awesome that I actually HAVE their album, but you know, my reaction wasn’t what I would’ve expected to have years back.
Machinae Supremacy grew, but so did I…
“A vision of ourselves, as we leave this time and place behind…”
If you followed my song quoting structure, that last quote would’ve been from their most recent album, but it’s not. And that alone speaks volumes. The lyrics of all Machinae Supremacy songs are jammed in my head somewhere, some words being altered or forgotten, but I can’t say I remember lyrics from their recent release. It’s true, I’ve stopped taking them all to heart; I’ve stopped trying.
Nowadays Machinae Supremacy is one artist I rarely listen to. Every song of theirs is great, that much I’ve been shown over and over again, but now I usually skip them to listen to other bands. I don’t even have their entire discography on Clover, my iPod Nano 6G, whereas I’m sure people would assume I did. As my brother put it, they’re placed so high on a pedestal that I can’t just listen to them casually anymore. They, as my almighty #1 deserve something better, something special, a deviation from the ordinary listening. They’re that prized item from a collection that’s displayed more than it is actually used because it’s so holy.
“What about this moment?”
– One Day In The Universe
How does this affect my appreciation of the band? Well. I’m surely not that super enthusiastic fanboy updated with all things Machinae Supremacy like I was before, so we’re sure that my appreciation at least went down.
But, mark my words; it will never, ever fade.
I love Machinae Supremacy too much. If the whole “place them on a pedestal” thing wasn’t enough to convince you, I don’t know what would, because no one, and I mean no one, would give that kind of treatment to just any band in its entirety, without it having a very special place in that person’s heart.
And I am that person. At least, one among many.
I can listen to Sonata Arctica‘s discography just like how I used to treat Machinae Supremacy without stopping, and never failing to praise Tony Kakko’s genius songwriting. But that’s just it. Sonata Arctica is my current 2nd favorite band, and I love them very, very much even when people started to hate their current direction. I was even part of said people once 😄 But they will never reach the high pedestal Machinae Supremacy is on.
And that concludes my story, my one night in Lulea in a figurative sense when I first discovered my favorite band. It felt so awesome to just sing along to their recently released completely free Assembly concert along with all my friends who love the band too. Who cared if I couldn’t really sing the recent songs, or fumbled on lyrics in the older songs (sure as hell got Winterstorm perfectly though). This is what I meant by having Machinae Supremacy for special occasions…listening to one band that unites us all…
The day after, which would be today, I thought about it more. I remembered that I copied the Assembly concert from Patrick because it was pretty huge and my internet’s speed was, well, pretty ugly. And I was surprised at myself. After all that’s been said and done in this post alone, my recent realization got me convinced of Machinae Supremacy’s status in my music appreciation.
Case in point, I went all fanboy when I realized that Erica Oberg, former vocalist of Inja, the sister band of Machinae Supremacy had backing vocals for when they performed Edge & Pearl. I will never forget that voice, for I instantly fell in love with it when I first heard the voice in Flagcarrier from Deus Ex Machinae.
And they say that the only constant thing is change.
True, but some things just never do. 🙂
“In the far, twilight awaits; opens up to embrace…”
~ by rtnario on November 6, 2011.