Gizmachi must have been grinning for weeks when they found out they were the first band to be signed to Shawn Crahan’s label. For those of you not in the know, Crahan is probably better known as Clown (#6) in Slipknot. While this was undoubtedly good news for Gizmachi, it will mean that they will most likely be known by association with Crahan – unless of course their music is good enough to stand on its own.
Their grins should last a little bit longer, because, as it turns out The Imbuing is a pretty strong record. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, as Gizmachi are not going to turn the world of metal upside-down with this release, but there’s enough here to keep the metal fraternity happy.
Over the course of eight songs and 45 minutes, Gizmachi touch on just about every metal genre and influence there has ever been over the last 30 years. Sometimes this can make you wish the songs were a little more focused, but you have to admire Gizmachi for sticking to their guns – it’s no mean feat.
Vocalist Sean Kane veers from hardcore screaming to the kind of thing you might find on the more melodic side of Nu-Metal. His performance on The Imbuing has him earmarked as one of the more interesting and versatile vocalists to appear on the metal scene for some time.
The riffs borrow from the likes of Slipknot, Machine Head, and, in places, the much-missed Pantera make fleeting appearances. It’s fairly standard stuff, reminiscent of the Bay Area Thrash scene, and probably the weakest point of the record. The guitars may have considerable muscle, but without big fat hooks, they can at times seem wasted. Still, the occasional whiff of a Maiden-esque solo makes up for that.
The real hero of this record, however is drummer Jimmie Hatcher. If you remember the days when the likes of Igor Cavalera and Donald Tardy ruled the roost in the metal drumming world then this album could well bring back a few memories. There’s plenty of double bass drum abuse, and enough inspired fills to make you think that drum solos are a good idea.
Crahan handles the production duties with aplomb, but sometimes you can’t help but wonder what this album might have sounded like if it had arrived in the �90s when Death Metal was to the fore, and Scott Burns was at the helm. But that’s the stuff of wishful thinking – what matters is that Gizmachi have delivered a solid album, and one that points to them being a good prospect over time. Gizmachi are not clown shoes.