Opus of a Machine are a progressive rock band which was formed in 2012 by guitarist Zachary Greensill (also handling guitar duties in Caligula’s Horse), along with Dale Prinsse on bass, Mitchel Legg on vocals and guitar, and Trevor Gee on drums. Simulacra is the band’s debut full-length, which was preceded by a single “Parallels” in 2013.
The band is self-described as pushing “the creative boundaries of alternative, progressive rock.” With a set of influences that includes artists such as Devin Townsend, Tool, Opeth, Oceanside, and Steve Vai, Opus of a Machine offer a sound that is on par with eclectic. After listening to their album, one can definitely hear these influences as Opus of a Machine show off both their compositions and their chops.
The album starts out with “Hourly Painted Obscurity”- adorned with space synth and tight opening riff which soon gets watered down towards more atmospheric vibe. Verse and chorus melodies lie right in the middle between dark and uplifting.
“Parallels” opens with somewhat grim guitar voicing turned to pounding metal riffage. Songs like “An Echo Undone” and “A Slow Embrace” are both solid tracks that allow the members to show off musically while maintaining a straightforward alternative rock feel. “The Feeding” feels as the darkest and most fast-paced piece with plenty of rhythm changes, but incredibly accessible.”Tuatara” is a grand finale of Simulacra, clocking in at almost ten minutes. It builds beautifully and then slowly fades; a fulfilling and uplifting ending to a concise, focused and impressive collection of songs.
The overall mix and production of the album is very clean and powerful. There is a healthy balance between warm guitar tones and strong riffs. Opus of a Machine’s musicianship is well displayed not only in their skill of playing, but in their ability to compose tasteful melodies, chord progressions, and solos. If you are a fan of the same groups that influenced Opus of a Machine, you will not be disappointed. This is alternative progressive rock performed at the highest level, bringing great songs along with aggressiveness that takes hold of the listener and doesn’t let go until the final second. Simulacra deserves the focus and time to experience it as a whole. It’s undoubtedly one of the year’s best debuts.