With some chugging guitars, anthemic vocals and a stadium-shaking bassline backed by merciless noise in the background, there’s a lot that an industrial band as talented as System Machine can accomplish, and in the new single/video combo “In Dust We Trust,” they put together some of their most cutting content to see widespread release so far. Ignoring the conventions of an increasingly watered-down American heavy metal influence, this Northern Ireland crew engages in what feels like a specifically overindulgent – and highly melodic – rock n’ roll performance in protest here, and for my money, it’s their most mature work ever.
“In Dust We Trust” doesn’t have the loudest set of drums I’ve ever heard in my life, and yet it seems to be more defined by its percussive element than it is any of the color coming through on the skins. I was really taken aback by just how scooped a centerpiece in the bass System Machine decided to go with, mostly because of their industrial rock street cred, but it’s focused towards cratering the audience in a way the drums normally would have.
Everything here is at odds with what I’d expect the major label metal, punk and rock acts to be doing with the same composition, and without knowing for sure, I’d say this was the band’s intention all along.
I had listened to the other two tracks this band has landed across the Atlantic – “Company Man” and “321” – just before hearing “In Dust We Trust” for the first time, and in the years that have gone by since originally dropping their debut single, I think it’s safe to say they’ve grown exponentially on multiple fronts. This is the tightest we’ve heard System Machine, but my gut tells me it isn’t representative of their creative peak at all.