LOVE MACHINE – Universe Of Minds (2018)
Released today February 2, “Universe Of Minds” is the new album from Italian cult rockers LOVE MACHINE after many years away from the scene. Still with most original members into the line up, these guys already have various albums under their belt over thirty years of career and live & tour gigs alongside Saxon, WASP and Gotthard to name a few.
I would call LOVE MACHINE’s style like a crossroad between ’80s Euro melodic metal and traditional hard rock from the same decade. In the past this sound was tagged as ‘hard n’ heavy’, and I think this perfectly fits the band.
There’s tons of groove via rumbling bass lines and a classic twin guitar attack, always melodic and punchy.
But what I absolutely love about “Universe Of Mind” is the use of that awesome classic ’80s synths all over the songs, especially at the intro. You know, that ‘heavy synths’ akin TOBRUK, PRAYING MANTIS and early PRETTY MAIDS.
While the raspy, sometimes gravelly lead vocals not always match the quality of the music, overall the disc is a lovely collection of classic tunes in this genre.
‘Let’s Get It Rock’ is indeed an inviting melodic hard rocker driven by stinging guitars, and I loved the slightly RAINBOW influenced ‘Star Rider’, a highlight from the album with that fantastic keyboard work / atmosphere.
‘The Scorn’ is a midtempo heavy tune painted with a classy ’80s riffage, then that wonderful keyboard stabs appear again in the melodious ‘Scared for These Time’, akin BONFIRE.
The waves of ‘Maybe (A Second Life Reality)’ brings to mind Swiss band CHINA, even with some AORish arrangements.
‘Now or Never’ is an atmospheric midtempo with synths providing layers of instrumentation (the song makes me think of Italians ELEKTRADRIVE), while on the ‘hard n’ heavy’ side ‘Compromises’ is all about racing drumming, organs, and razor guitars akin 220 VOLT.
While the ‘hard n’ heavy’ style is pretty out of fashion nowadays, I really enjoy bands like LOVE MACHINE resurrecting this sub-genre in “Universe Of Minds”.
The album sounds very ’80s from the production side, ‘analog’ I’d say, and there’s its charm.
I you like the acts mentioned above, the use of ‘heavy synths’, biting twin guitars and big bass sound, then this is for you. At places, the vocals are a drawback, but overall this is an effective ’80s styled ‘hard n’ heavy’ record, that indeed sounds like recorded somewhere in 1985.
01 – Anyway
02 – Let’s Get It Rock
03 – Compromises
04 – Star Rider
05 – Point of No Return
06 – The Scorn
07 – Scared for These Time
08 – Maybe (A Second Life Reality)
09 – Mama’s Call
10 – Journey
11 – Now or Never
Rob Della Frera – Vocals
Max Adams – Rhythm & Lead Guitar
Frank T. Raider – Rhythm & Lead Guitar
Andrew Dal Zio – Drums
Yako Martini – Bass
Lele Mr. Triton – Keyboards, Synths, Piano
Alessia Ficarra – guest Backing Vocals
BUY IT !