The Machine Is Bleeding To Death is a one-man post-rock act from Manchester (UK), combining the same elements as acts like Explosions In The Sky and several other bands. Elaborate songs that vary between soft, soothing music and heavily distorted rock passages follow each other continuously. In fact, this could be seen as one colossal (got it?) track which constantly shifts between soft and heavy post-rock. This sense of continuity is also present in the songtitles, 'I, II, III, IV, ...'.
The fact that the drums are programmed, doesn't change the overall band-feel of this project. I've seen several one-man post-rock acts do this before, sometimes making it hard to believe that there's only one person behind the music. Yet, the programming gives the whole an extra touch. Here and there, mostly in 'III', the electronic drumrolls deviate the initial slow rhythm and gives it a sense of euphoria, which is quite stunning. In 'VII', he proves how good he is at programming drums by opening the song with a drum solo. This track is by far my favourite one, an epic post-rock anthem.
'Colossus' is a very good album in vintage post-rock tradition, combining elaborate soundscapes with distorted guitars. The songs are slowly built-up, layer by layer moving towards an apotheosis where 'heaviness' seems to be the weapon of choice. Sometimes this build-up occurs within one track. Sometimes the end of a track builds towards the next one, like in 'IV' & 'V'. This way the songs follow each other perfectly, making 'Colossus' a great concept album.
I'm not sure if the album was recorded in a studio or in a bed/living room. The overall sound quality suggests the latter and I would suggest recording the next album in a professional studio, maybe with a professional producer. The current quality doesn't really harm the beauty of the songs. I just think that the effort will pay-off bigtime. The Machine Is Bleeding To Death is a very talented act which deserves a perfect sound.
However, in all honesty, I have to say that I really like this album and that I'd like to recommend it to every post-rock fan around. I for one am quite curious about where this project will be in the
future. Maybe he can find some musicians and take this stuff on the road, or do it solo. It would be an interesting bunch of evenings, that's for sure.