5/5 industrial rock, metal, pop, electronic
1. To Be Zero, 2. Crazy, 3. Estranged, 4. Lost, 5. What It Is, 6.
Perfection, 7. Today is the Day, 8. Memories, 9. Hammers, 10. Samurai,
11. American Hero, 12. Feedback, 13. Drive, 14. Pressure (Billy Joel
cover), 15. Time to Go Gently
The people behind Broken from Binary are a duo based in Florida, using the Ghost in the Machine
moniker since 1996. We know them only by their stage names: Face (bass,
programming, vocals) and C4 (vocals, guitar, programming).
The newest GITM's album brings over an hour of music that should
definitely be checked out by fans of catchy cutting-edge industrial
rock, metal and pop - but avid video gamers, too. Purists however, need
to open their minds to enjoy the surprising concept better. The
arrangements don't often repeat within a composition, but veer off into
unexpected directions, as if based on bridges mostly rather than a
traditional rock song structure. Therefore, expect your ears and
brainwaves to be challenged frequently with this release. Here comes
music dripping with seriousness, intelligence, groove, and sense of
humor - all mixed together.
The album opener, 'To Be Zero', brings a lot of industrial rock references (think Gravity Kills and Die Krupps thanks to groovy bass lines and slightly mean yet seductive vocals as found in PIG's
music), but that’s not all. The chorus includes a complete mood change -
a nostalgic pop line you'd probably never expect to hear in a track
based mostly on guitars & sampling. Once the chorus passes over, the
heavy drumming gets back into the limelight.
'Crazy' and 'Drive' are comparable, since not only are they the two most
coherent songs on the album overall, but also very rhythmic, even
danceable. The arrangements in 'Crazy' are very well written, operating
within a tight space for every instrument and vocals. The mood and tempo
change at times to avoid repetitive monotony. 'Drive’' brings the
industrial metal feel in vein of Rob Zombie's
hit songs. The bass, guitars, and drums deliver pleasant heaviness and
collaborate very well. Vocals and synths bring melodious lines in the
chorus. Both tracks are potential hits, great for headbanging and
stomping, and thus industrial/goth radio & dancefloor-friendly.
'Hammers' makes for a good match with the two aforementioned songs, but
it adds sugared pop melodies and less tense arrangements.
'Estranged' and 'Samurai' let listeners take a break from high energy
tracks thanks to a much slower tempo. The guitars are still heavy in
'Estranged' but the track seems to be mostly written to underline the
lyrical content of the song. It sounds truly memorable with its
'Samurai' brings a nostalgic yet romantic feel. The lyrics tell a short
dramatic story of an iconic Japanese warrior and his beloved woman who
was killed due to a stealth attack while he was winning a war. Vocals
sound extremely radio-friendly but the overall arrangements are not
deprived of heavier moments. When you hear the ending verse: 'Now I pray
for her' - James Hetfield's characteristic accent may come to mind.
The last track, 'Time to Go Gently', also brings a more delicate, almost
a lullaby-like vibe - at least at start. Since GITM excels at musical
surprises, the arrangements begin getting heavier in the second, then
even more intense in the third part of the song - thanks to the
increased tempo, the loud drum beat, and the imposition of angry,
'Lost' brings a distinctive melodic line and mixes heavy and soft tunes.
The arrangements fit perfectly into the overall composition, carrying a
danceable, electro-music feel at times. Despite such repetitions, there
are plenty of interesting irregularities to keep the track fresh for
'Today Is The Day' shows a skillful mix of alt-metal and electro sounds,
through the nicely down-tuned guitar riffs with melodic choruses. The
composition is somewhat complex and offers plenty of space for many
different arrangements that don't interfere with the original leitmotif.
When 'What It Is' starts off with its synth lines, experienced listeners
may second-guess what’s coming next - the song is going to explode with
rhythm any second now. Surely enough, it does bring a lively groove and
a lot of elements straight from pop. There's a big dose of fun as well,
with additional gap fillers such as rock riffs or even a flute. It
sounds like a great track for an anime, for listeners of all ages,
ranging from little children to grey-haired elders.
In a similar fashion, 'Perfection' includes a plentiful dose of techno & EBM dynamics. Fans of KMFDM
will feel at home thanks to a well known vocal effect and the method of
aligning vocals with the beat. There's a great balance between verses
and choruses - each appear at the right moment. This purely electronic
song is another potential hit on the album.
'American Hero' also qualifies for that, thanks to its pop-disco rhythm
and sound effects. It is a '2-in-1' composition though, built upon two
matching parts which are then separated with a bit of silence halfway
through the track. It may turn out to be popular in the movie or gaming
industries thanks to its beat driven, memorable choruses.
GITM's original music is perhaps best represented by 'Memories'. It's a
guitar driven track which is built upon a fast but not monotonous
rhythm, melodious arrangements, and a dominating drum beat. On top of
that, it clearly proves that not only can these musicians write twisted
yet mature compositions but also apply a specific instrumentation
through their craft. Vocals, bass and drums are such as mostly heard in
metal music. The rhythm guitars match rock, whereas background synths
are usually heard in pop and electro.
With so many songs on the tracklist it’s obvious that any smart band in a
similar situation would challenge themselves to come up with a
stand-out composition. Thus, the standard and the modern meet in
'Feedback'. At first, a classic hard rock reference (think Led Zeppelin
or Pink Floyd) may come to mind - GITM may have even used a Hammond
organ in this one. Then, all of a sudden, a digitally beefed-up drum
beat and modern rock/alt-metal vocals arrive. Fans of Nine Inch Nails won't go wrong with this track either, when they hear the unexpectedly fitting lines: 'Nothing, nothing, nothing will get me to testify / No way, no way, no way that you'll get me to lie'. This, along with characteristic guitar riffs and bass lines make for an unmistakable tribute to Trent Reznor's
90s music. The instrumental versatility, slow but still rocking tempo,
and overall professional production make 'Feedback' an extremely
Finally, a cover song. GITM have chosen 'Pressure' by Billy Joel,
however their version is rather a close cousin of Joel's original
despite the addition of a digitally improved beat, a bit of sampling and
heavier guitars. It would be awesome to watch a smart video single
accompanying this cover, that pointed out contemporary social pressures
resulting in fear and frantic overreaction.
Broken from Binary is a well-thought out, masterfully executed,
and highly entertaining cross-genre mash-up. Face and C4, blend several
and typical sound effects or arrangements borrowed from trivial urban
pop, chunky industrial dynamics, or vintage hard rock like true
alchemists. The duo don't let themselves go astray in spite of utilizing
a wide variety of different musical options, because their compositions
are based on steady motifs. This technique remains the band's
'specialty of the house', whether it is an attempt to challenge their
own song-writing skills, to please multi-subculture listeners, or to
have ready-made arrangements for various commercial uses (ads, jingles,
TV shows, video games, etc.) In fact, GITM have already successfully
submitted music for a variety of major TV networks, brands and
The album's excellent audio production and mastering indicate that these
musicians not only write and sell their music successfully, but can
also provide other professional, studio-related services.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, December 22nd, 2015. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
Interview with GITM - read here
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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine