Review: “Mechanical Temple” by Aois Innealan

Having spent time in the Black Metal Underground scene in South Africa with Scathanna Wept, Daniel Botha became inspired by the work of Septicflesh, Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails to create his own Industrial Metal project as a solo artist, taking the name Aois Innealan (Age of Machinery) as his own and since then he’s been nothing short of prolific with his creations. In the six months since debut EP “Colossus” surfaced for air, a fistful of singles (including “Bloodstained Wings” and “Betrayal“) have appeared and now, when we least expected it, a sophomore EP entitled “Mechanical Temple” which is adorned by the image of a Mech Warrior ready for battle, perhaps a self portrait.

After a Rhys Fulber (Frontline Assembly, Fear Factory) inspired opening synth pattern soaked in science fiction b-movie nostalgia and programmed drums “Everything is a lie” develops a split personality with Peter Steele, Type O Negative style Gothic clean vocals during the chorus and a Black Metal styled uncleans during the verses that gives the sense of a vocal pairing rather than a single entity. If you stripped out the vocals then the electronic portion of the cut would be the ideal soundscape to a classic video game like Doom, Borderlands or Half Life with the synths painting lush and yet eerie uneasy patterns. Those stylings continue into “Fractured Thoughts” with a dark spoken word echoing out the inner voice, while the cautic uncleans are improved on those which have come before them, a new depth to the dry raspy tone found and the result is pure evil. “Cold” isn’t the Static-X cover that you might have expected but instead an inspired creation that sounds like a stripped down Rammstein demo, something which Botha’s accent aids, while the guitars moving away from the slab after slab of wall to wall rhythm and instead moving in a more involved and innovative direction, aided by the icy keys. The cover art suddenly makes sense as “Nuclear Invasion” takes root with the meloncholic dark melodies of Black Metal being driven into the industrial age like a tank ploughing through the ash of a post apocalyptic nuclear fallout. It’s dark outside but this isn’t as cold as some Industrial Metal offerings with Botha finding a balance to pursue and make his own mark while having a clear development and continuity between past, present and future [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Everything is a lie
  2. Fractured Thoughts
  3. Cold
  4. Nuclear Invasion

Mechanical Temple” by Aois Innealan is out now and available over at bandcamp

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